Scuba Divers Amazed By What Smart Fish Asks Of Them

WildCreaturesPublished: February 12, 2019Updated: February 13, 20197,282 plays$23.16 earned
Published: February 12, 2019Updated: February 13, 2019

Our oceans are full of mystery and magnificent creatures. They continually amaze us with their intelligence and understanding. We have long thought of ourselves as being the only species with the capacity for complex thought, but if we truly pay attention to the animals around us, we can see that they are smarter than we give them credit for. These scuba divers have descended to 70 feet below the waves and perched on a ledge near Darwin’s Arch, one of the most famous dive sites in the Galapagos Islands. They have come to see hammerhead sharks and whale sharks that cruise past these islands on the ocean currents. They will watch as if they are in front of the world’s biggest IMAX screen.

As the divers sat and watched, a Mexican hogfish decided to hang around with them too. It swam around and looked at them curiously. It even swam under one of the divers when hammerhead sharks were close. It seemed to fully understand that humans were nothing to be frightened of. But then it did something very surprising. One of the divers noticed that the fish was staring at a small rock and then staring at her. The fish moved back and forth to her and then to the rock in front of her hands. The fish was acting so oddly that the diver beside her began to film the fish instead of looking for whale sharks and hammerheads. It first appeared that the fish liked the diver. Eventually realizing that the fish was returning to the same rock repeatedly, she wondered if something under the rock was making the fish excited. As she reached out to lift the rock, the fish darted in front of it and stared intently. To her surprise, as she lifted the rock, she found a baby octopus underneath. This was a thrilling sight for the divers and it was obvious that the fish had seen or smelled the creature hiding beneath the rock. It was also possible that the octopus had been eating something that smelled interesting to the Mexican hogfish. The octopus was far too big for the hogfish to eat, so it merely watched as the divers filmed it out in the open.

Fish become used to divers very quickly and they often understand that humans will not try to harm them, but to try to communicate with a diver and signal to a diver that something is under a rock would require more complex thought and understanding than we once believed they were capable of. If the fish was truly hoping that the diver would lift the rock, that’s even more surprising. Yet, we see this sort of behavior constantly between groupers and scuba divers who spear hunt for lionfish. The groupers will actually locate the lionfish and stare into the hiding spots until the diver responds. The more we pay attention to the animals around us, the more we see that we have a lot to learn about them.

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    Comments

    8 comments

    • 1 rumble
      AmericanDaddyO · 5 weeks ago

      The same thing happened to me last night. I noticed a black bear over in the woods across from my house and when I walked over into the trees to get a better look a swarm of mosquitos began warning me not to get too close by landing on my arms and face biting me repeatedly. I ran out of the woods and they stopped but when I went back again they repeated their warnings to make sure I didn't get to close to the bear.

      • 1 rumble
        DavidMcNab · 5 weeks ago

        That's awesome! Please go back out and video tape it. I think we would all love to see the footage of this!

        • 2 rumbles
          AmericanDaddyO · 4 weeks ago

          Video tape it? Are you sure you wouldn't rather me do a cave drawing?

          • 1 rumble
            DavidMcNab · 4 weeks ago

            I really want realism. The more mosquitoes that you get communicating with you, the better!

    • 2 rumbles
      Giggle · 5 weeks ago

      Excellent video.

      • 1 rumble
        DavidMcNab · 5 weeks ago

        Thank you!

        • 2 rumbles
          AmericanDaddyO · 4 weeks ago

          BTW David, I did like your video and I was just giving you the devils advocate's view. I too would love to believe that fish was telling you to look under the rock but I think we tend to believe what we want to believe. I think that there is a pretty good chance that the fish just could not make up it's mind what to look at, you or the rock with the great smell underneath.

          • 1 rumble
            DavidMcNab · 4 weeks ago

            Very possible. But the back and forth for five minutes that you don't actually see seemed to tell a different story. But who really knows what fish think?