Hiding under rocks and in between coral crevices on the reefs around the world are these creatures which can immediately invoke in me the feeling of a small child who gets an unexpected treat. My heart leaps, my mouth drops (or wants to drop if I am diving), and I am filled with complete wonder. You know the kind, like when you see your first roller coaster that you are actually big enough to ride on, or your first magic trick. Everything else falls away and I am there alone with something that seems almost otherworldly.
That is a Sea Anemone. Each one I see feels like a gift the earth has created just for me. It is my quiet moment to be reminded of the incredible creatures that exist beside me on this magical planet.
Immediately I am humbled by their intricate beauty and masterful skill. The venomous tentacles have the power to paralyze fish and then draw them in to be eaten. Yet they are not without friends. The Sea Anemone and the clown fish work together for survival. The clown fish has a protective coating which allows it to hide in the anemone for protection. The anemone gladly accepts this as it can then eat the crumbs from the clown fish.
The Sea Anemone also co-exists with green algae, each offering the other sustainability.
The luxury of being able to walk daily on remote beaches, snorkel often and dive regularly is that I can take my time, looking at the small details and intricate things I miss if I am on a vacation and trying to fit lots of stuff in in a short amount of time. I watch them as long as I can as they move and wait patiently for their next meal. While I watch I am reminded that there is incredible beauty in the small things in life and that if we are looking we can always find the most amazing gifts along the journey.
These are a few more of the phenomenal Sea Anemones I have seen so far…