Muck Diving in Lembeh Strait
Flatworms are the evolutionary result of generations of worms being squished by larger fish. That’s why they’re often brightly coloured; to avoid being crushed entirely into a 2-dimensional plane. Ok, this isn’t true….. But sometimes the truth is even stranger when you are muck diving in Lembeh. Flatworms have no internal respiratory organs, instead, oxygen and carbon dioxide diffuse directly through their bodies’ surface! The flattened shape allows gas exchange to efficiently reach all parts of the body. It’s actually very cool!
Despite many of them resembling a poorly defined blob, flatworms are actually bilaterally symmetrical. This separates them from other organisms like sea stars and urchins in that they have a distinct tip, bottom, front and back. They even have ‘eyes’ although this usually takes the form of a cluster of light-sensitive cells.
It’s a cruel trick of nature that many of the most beautiful animals lack the eyesight to fully appreciate themselves. Brightly coloured flatworms join nudibranchs, octopus and dogs (not marine but still beautiful!) in this category. Instead, the colours are intended for would-be predators – to warn of a distasteful dining experience.
We see many flatworms when we are muck diving in Lembeh, from tiny ones mimicking nudibranchs to larger species like the pseudobiceros hancockanus (pictured above) which is one of the largest and can swim by undulating its flexible body – watching a flatworm swim in the water column is quite a sight!
This week our muck diving in Lembeh has been packed with an array of critters, from many different kinds of octopus through to some special sightings of the Bobbit worm on our night dive and two rhinopias!
Have you tried muck diving in Lembeh yet? Did you know that the Lembeh Strait is world-famous for its rare and unusual marine life, and it’s a mecca for underwater photographers too! Here at Two Fish Divers Lembeh, we have a range of facilities for underwater photographers to ensure your camera equipment is well looked after during your stay. You’ll find dedicated camera wash tanks at the dive centre, freshwater buckets on all of our boats and as well as being excellent critter spotters, our team of Dive Guides like nothing better than reviewing guests’ images with them at the end of the day!
For more information about muck diving in Lembeh, or to make a reservation, fill in the contact form below and we’ll get right back to you.
We look forward to diving the Lembeh Strait with you soon!