One of the nice things about Koh Tao (and the reason why diving is so inexpensive here) is that we can dive 365 days a year. If the weather is bad on one side of the island, we just hop over to the other side where it’s nice and calm.
The other night we did just that for the night adventure dive portion of the PADI Advanced Open Water course. We drove over to Hin Wong Bay on the east side of the island and did a shore dive.
The nice thing about diving a site that you don’t dive too often is that sometimes you get to see some different stuff. On this dive we had the pleasure of finding a juvenile harlequin sweet lips. The baby version of the sweet lips are orange and white and look a lot like Nemo But the crazy thing about the fish is the way it swims. Basically, it looks like it can’t swim at all! It flails its tail and its fins all about and never really gets anywhere. It’s actually quite funny to watch. We ended up just watching the little guy for a while as it flailed about futilely above the coral.
So, why would evolution select for such behavior? It turns out that the juvenile sweet lips swims this way because it is mimicking the movements of a poisonous flatworm. The sweet lips itself is actually very tasty (I’m assuming here. I’ve never actually eaten one), but no predator will go near it for fear of being poisoned. Cool stuff.
Pete (MSDT at Davy Jones Locker)