ENTRIES
Welcome to Eric Cheng's online journal! You are not logged in. [ Log in ]
«  :: index ::  »

Insane fish fry upwelling, Alor, Indonesia

:: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 @ 5:36:45 am

:: Tags:


Insane fish fry upwelling, Alor, Indonesia, originally uploaded by echeng.

October 31, 2011; 5:04pm – I’ve just surfaced from one of the most incredible dives of my life. We’ve been diving in the sound between Alor and Pura for the past few days, and the water has been rich with the critter life for which this area in Indonesia is well known. It has, however, been unusually cold—the coldest any of us have ever experienced while diving in Indonesia—and during one dive yesterday, our computers reported water temperatures of 15ºC (59ºF)! This is totally unheard of in this part of Indonesia.

Today’s diving started out rather typically, with two productive critter dives. During one dive, we saw and photographed five different Rhinopias sp. scorpionfish. Three of them were new individuals, which means that the dive site, named "Mucky Mosque" for the mosque it is located in front of, is home to at least seven individual rhinopias (rather extraordinary for a single site). We decided to go back to a site called "Slugfest" for the third dive of the day. At the site are two pregnant xeno crabs (Xenocarcinus tuberculatus) and dozens of species of nudibranchs and other pretty sea slugs. About 45 minutes into the dive, photographer Julian Cohen and I were at around 85′ engrossed in photographing one of the xeno crabs. Cold water had seeped up from the depths earlier in the dive, and there was a noticeable thermocline. Suddenly, we noticed a huge, milky, white cloud ascending from the deep. In no time at all, the white cloud enveloped us, and we saw that the gigantic formation was comprised of million—if not billions—of tiny fish fry. The fish cloud completely covered the reef, and vertically-blessed corals (like long wire corals) jutted outed of the milky mass like tall trees emerging from fog. As the giant school of fry hit the shallow reef, it changed formation, branching out into hundreds of rivulets, each snaking organically around any coral formations in the way. Tentacle movements were not unlike the water creature from the movie, "Abyss." With so much food in the water, reef denizens went berserk. Fish by the hundreds shot out into the water column, gulping down the little fry in a frenzy of feeding. But there were nowhere near enough predators to affect the overall population.

Photographer Julie Edwards was confused. "Nothing was eating them! I was expecting a whale shark to show up."

Indeed, the bulk of the huge mass of fry simply blanketed the reef in a virtual atmosphere of baby fish bodies. Unfortunately, all of us photographers had entered the water expecting to photograph tiny (individual) marine critters, and had configured our cameras as macro rigs. Since we couldn’t take any pictures, we just sort of floated around, gawking in disbelief at the strange marine spectacle. A guide was carrying my 3D GoPro setup. I tracked him down in order to retrieve the camera, and captured some basic footage of the scene. The footage I captured pales in comparison with what we actually saw, but I was glad that I was at least able to capture some of it. I’ll upload it when I return from Indonesia.

| | link | trackback | Nov 2, 2011 05:36:45
  • Norm Hamson

    Wow!  That sounds fantastic. I cant wait to see the rest of the footage.

ARCHIVES
Journal Home
Where is Eric? (password)
Stuff for Sale
February 2014 (2)
December 2013 (1)
October 2013 (1)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (2)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (1)
February 2013 (2)
January 2013 (3)
November 2012 (2)
October 2012 (3)
September 2012 (8)
August 2012 (8)
July 2012 (8)
June 2012 (8)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (8)
March 2012 (15)
February 2012 (7)
January 2012 (6)
December 2011 (8)
November 2011 (10)
October 2011 (12)
September 2011 (8)
August 2011 (14)
July 2011 (9)
June 2011 (9)
May 2011 (11)
April 2011 (11)
March 2011 (12)
February 2011 (23)
January 2011 (22)
December 2010 (16)
November 2010 (17)
October 2010 (26)
September 2010 (24)
August 2010 (24)
July 2010 (30)
June 2010 (26)
May 2010 (21)
April 2010 (26)
March 2010 (19)
February 2010 (17)
January 2010 (29)
December 2009 (21)
November 2009 (23)
October 2009 (32)
September 2009 (19)
August 2009 (34)
July 2009 (21)
June 2009 (30)
May 2009 (23)
April 2009 (18)
March 2009 (6)
February 2009 (25)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (6)
November 2008 (22)
October 2008 (27)
September 2008 (25)
August 2008 (34)
July 2008 (34)
June 2008 (32)
May 2008 (26)
April 2008 (15)
March 2008 (19)
February 2008 (31)
January 2008 (43)
December 2007 (33)
November 2007 (29)
October 2007 (29)
September 2007 (9)
August 2007 (19)
July 2007 (10)
June 2007 (17)
May 2007 (26)
April 2007 (38)
March 2007 (39)
February 2007 (13)
January 2007 (35)
December 2006 (35)
November 2006 (14)
October 2006 (6)
September 2006 (20)
August 2006 (24)
July 2006 (32)
June 2006 (17)
May 2006 (23)
April 2006 (16)
March 2006 (16)
February 2006 (26)
January 2006 (33)
December 2005 (17)
November 2005 (21)
October 2005 (18)
September 2005 (17)
August 2005 (5)
July 2005 (15)
June 2005 (20)
May 2005 (25)
April 2005 (7)
March 2005 (22)
February 2005 (20)
January 2005 (38)
December 2004 (6)
November 2004 (24)
October 2004 (16)
September 2004 (22)
August 2004 (12)
July 2004 (17)
June 2004 (15)
May 2004 (11)
April 2004 (35)
March 2004 (40)
February 2004 (29)
January 2004 (36)
December 2003 (20)
November 2003 (18)
October 2003 (10)
September 2003 (18)
August 2003 (10)
July 2003 (34)
June 2003 (12)
May 2003 (49)
April 2003 (42)
March 2003 (42)
February 2003 (15)
January 2003 (7)
December 2002 (17)
November 2002 (19)
October 2002 (24)
September 2002 (22)
August 2002 (20)
July 2002 (21)
June 2002 (14)
May 2002 (15)
April 2002 (11)
March 2002 (13)
February 2002 (20)
January 2002 (17)
December 2001 (16)
Even Older Journal
Travel Journals

CATEGORIES / TAGS
(25) (2) (1) (3) (1) (1) (1) (6) (2) (3) (11) (8) (3) (1) (1) (4) (2) (4) (2) (1) (6) (1) (1) (1) (6) (2) (1) (1) (1) (3) (1) (5) (1) (1) (23) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (14) (1) (10) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (1) (27) (6) (3) (2) (4) (4) (1) (1) (41) (11) (12) (4) (38) (1) (3) (2) (4) (1) (1) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (10) (25) (8) (3) (2) (3) (2) (1) (5) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (14) (1) (5) (1) (1) (5) (43) (1) (1) (1) (3) (24) (1) (1) (1) (1) (5) (1) (4) (1) (1) (10) (1) (3) (1) (1) (1) (1) (6) (5) (1) (1) (1) (3) (1) (3) (1) (1) (1) (69) (4) (3) (7) (3) (1) (16) (6) (1) (29) (1) (7) (1) (4) (4) (4) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (10) (4) (4) (2) (1) (89) (14) (1) (2) (79) (2) (2) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (3) (2) (3) (1) (1) (24) (3) (5) (4) (1) (2) (1)
MOST POPULAR
Most Popular Posts of All Time


Eric Cheng's RSS Journal Journal RSS
Eric Cheng's RSS Journal Comments RSS

proudly powered by wordpress
script exec time: 0.87s
i hate computers.