The water couldn’t be better. Low currents and high viz make for a spectacular day of spearfishing, and Captain Kujo is making the most of it. Some keeper-sized Dungeness, a nice harvest of butter clams, and now he is on the hunt for the elusive Ling Cod. After a few minutes, he spots his mark, a nice specimen just a few meters away. The Captain closes in, aims, and lets his spear fly. BAM! he has his fish. But before he can draw in the line, something large and fast swims past him from behind. He has no time to react before the giant creature seizes his leg and tosses him about like a rag doll. He feels the pressure on his thigh tightening and knows it is only a matter of time before his dry suit is ripped open, as well as his flesh. He is being dragged down deeper and deeper. His air supply is running out. He will die if he doesn’t do something. So he reloads his speargun, this time with a special exploding tip—made for situations just like this. At the last second, before he passes out from exhaustion, he fires the spear. The detonation blasts his eardrums, but the danger is gone, replaced by a red swirl of blood and guts. After a few seconds he realizes what happened. A hungry Sea Lion went after his Ling Cod. He is lucky to be alive.
The above story is true, and it goes a long way to illustrate how vulnerable we humans are in the ocean. Sure, sharks are on everyone’s list of the most dangerous and terrifying animals in the deep. But you might be surprised to know that there are many other, more dangerous creatures. Don’t believe me? You already know about sea lions. Here are a few more…
They look scarier that just about anything in the ocean, but their looks really are deceiving. Eels actually are some of the most docile and skittish creatures in the sea. However, when provoked or scared, they can definitely pack a punch when they bite. Divers have reported being attacked by eels in the past, and that means they will attack in the future. And not just divers. In fact, a recent alleged shark attack on a surfer in Hawaii is actually thought to be perpetrated by an eel.
Though humans are not usually on the menu for these gigantic fish, more than one diver has reported being bitten by one while the diver tried to feed it. This is a common dive pastime, but it can have its risks. The groupers sometimes engulf the diver’s whole hand all the way up to the elbow when taking the free food, often resulting in a nasty scrape. And then there’s this video with a grouper savagely swallowing a shark in one bite.
Sea jellies are everywhere, and with ocean acidification and the sea warming, it seems they are poised to take over the world. Divers know to avoid sea jellies. Most of them can sting you, and sometimes they can get nasty. In fact, in the Philippines alone, 20-40 people per year die from the anaphylaxis caused by sea jelly stings.
Sources: livescience.com |web.utah.edu | thedivingblog.com | care2.com