There are plenty of weird and wonderful creatures lurking in the waters of the Lembeh Strait but it is the Hairy Monsters in Lembeh which catch a lot of peoples attention. It is commonly known that if something under the water is hairy then that makes it special.
There are a few creatures which feature heavily on people’s ‘to see’ list and they all seem to be hairy! The first and probably most sought after creature out of all hairy monsters would be the Hairy Frogfish. Frogfish in general are a fan favorite but the Hairy Frogfish takes the top spot.
Hairy Frogfish are rare around the world and while certainly not common in Lembeh either, they can be found if you know where to look! Hairy Frogfish come in different sizes and colours with the Black Hairy Frogfish being the ultimate goal. These special hairy monsters are more rare than their brown counterparts and they can hide with ease against the black sands surrounding them.
Smaller, but no less hairy is the Hairy Squat Lobster. These little lobsters hang around on the outside of giant barrel sponges and are fantastic photography subjects if you can find them. At their maximum length they are still shy of 1 centimeter but what they lack in size, they make up for in appeal. They are bright pink/purple and have long pink hairs covering their entire body from the end of the claws to the tip of their lobster toes.
Even smaller again and even hairier is the Hairy Shrimp. It is unknown how common or rare these animals are and that is just because of how inconspicuous they are! Their huge stature of a few millimeters would make them difficult enough to find against a plain black backdrop but these hairy little shrimp hide in amongst the algae and sand covered seagrass.
Being a sandy color themselves, they can float about among the sediment without being given a second glance. Even once spotted and identified, you need a powerful enough camera to be able to even focus on this subject. A very tricky customer but very satisfying to find.
Finally, the next hairy monster is the most rare but also the most highly valued. Hairy Octopus. These octopus seem to be able to elude the ever watchful eyes of everyone for months and months at a time.
Once again their hair, color and size means they can easily be mistaken for a boring clump of algae. It is only when that boring clump of algae starts moving against the current do you realize there may be more than originally seems. These octopus are so rare that most people leave Lembeh without gazing upon it. But those who are lucky enough will be talking about for a long while after!
All these creatures make a small but fantastic list to try and tick off. If you know a diver with long hair and/or a beard then you know why. Everything hairy under the water is special.