Scuba diver stumbles upon very odd ocean creature
What kind of a lazy bones lays motionless in the sand? No this is not pertaining to a lazy vacationer after a night of too much fun! After cruising from Miami Florida aboard the Norwegian Getaway cruise liner, Brent and his wife Elsa had plans for scuba diving on the Island of Roatan. Roatan is approximately 40 miles off the northeast coast of the country of Honduras. Being a fairly small coral reef island of 48 miles long and 5 miles wide it’s main source for income is tourism. Well known for scuba diving and snorkeling there are many locations throughout the island to take in the beautiful waters and sea life.
Located near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea (second largest worldwide after Australia's Great Barrier Reef), Roatán has become an important cruise ship, scuba diving and eco-tourism destination in Honduras. The diving company that Brent had booked with was located in Westbay, a short drive from the cruise ship port of Coxed Hole. Coxen Hole is also the capital of Roatán municipality. After a short meet and greet with the dive guide Vero from Roatán Divers, Brent, Elsa and Vero were off to their first dive site called Punchers Paradise aboard a very speedy panga boat. Five minutes with wind in their hair and then Vero was tying up the boat to an anchor rope.
Into the crystal clear Caribbean water the three divers plunged. Descending to the bottom so they could all meet up after settling in, Brent checked his dive computer which showed his depth of 55 feet, and water temperatures of 82° F. Once together Elsa and Brent ventured along the beautiful sandy bottom looking for small creatures. Being one of the largest coral reefs in the world, this location was filled with small and large coral heads (structures) raising out of the sandy bottom. Thousands of beautiful tropical fish like we have seen in the footage of the famous Jacques Cousteau filled every crevice of these coral structures. Moving slowly along, Brent spotted a very strange fish in the distance.
Brightly colored, it stood out very well. Approaching slowly, Brent noticed it had a strange looking head, or was it upside down? Descending onto the sandy floor, Brent could see this fish was staring right back at him and not moving a muscle. Identifying this little guy of about a foot long, Brent now knew it was a remora. These fish attach themselves to larger fish, turtles, rays, and sharks to scavenge food scraps from their larger “free ride”. The suction cup looking section on the top of the remora’s head is his ticket to a free ride. What a beautiful but strange looking creature when not attached to his free ride. Why was he just laying on the bottom motionless? Was he sick? Was he waiting for a new “ride” to come along? Most likely that is exactly what this beautiful remora was doing. Waiting for a new ride to show up so he could continue his duties as a “cleaner fish” and enjoy a life of just “hanging around”.