Bubble Algae (Valonia ventricosa) are found all over the world on most reefs. You might have seen them snorkeling or diving before and wondered what the shiny metallic ball was. They are sometimes called a cursed grape or a soldier’s eyeball but it is one of the largest unicellular organisms in the world. There are some fish and crabs that eat bubble algae and they have to pop it before they can eat it.
The bubble algae are very common and we find it at all of our dive sites around Bunaken. They live between 1m and 80m so even snorkelers have the chance to see these from the surface. Usually they are closer to the areas of coral rubble or bare rock. There are more at the top of the reef where it gets exposed at low tide and where corals don’t grow as easily. Look for a green/silver circle or oval up to 5cm big, they are pretty cool to find!
Kristy who was here a week ago, at the start of her PADI Divemaster Training took this photo of a bubble algae (above) because the guests that were with us were wondering what it was. It is always good to try and learn something new on every dive you do and having a camera makes it a lot easier to identify later. Always remember to ask your guides as they are familiar with many of the creatures here. If they aren’t sure they will be found flicking through the ID books until they have the name for you. The PADI Fish Identification and Naturalist Specialties helps you to learn a lot more about fish and how different species interact with each other underwater.
This week at Two Fish Bunaken Resort, Uwe has been diving every day with Tian and they have been seeing loads of cool things like the Denise and Pontohi Pygmy Seahorses, tiny nudibranchs, cuttlefish, octopus and sponge crabs. We did a night dive around at Lekuan 3 and there was so much life everywhere you looked. Sometimes it is like there are many eyes looking at you from the wall but it is all the beady eyes from shrimps reflecting in your torchlight.
Xioufeng and his daughter Yuou came out snorkeling for the first time. They loved seeing turtles for the first time as well as many butterflyfish, Moorish idols, juvenile batfish, unicornfish and boxfish!! Anna has been staying with us working remotely and diving/snorkeling whenever she has the chance! It’s so easy to have a quick break from work and instantly be in a tropical paradise here in our Bunaken resort!!
It’s been a little bit rainier at the moment but we are still out diving every day and enjoying all of the amazing life underwater. We are getting wet anyway and its much more fun seeing the fish than reading about them!!
Would you like to join us in Bunaken? Fill in the form below for more information and we’ll get right back to you!