Many a visitor to Sodwana has experienced the thrills of snorkelling with whale sharks, diving with dolphins and sighting manta rays on the move. But what about the fascinating world of rock pools? Few have taken the time to explore the many hidden alcoves both above and below the water surface.
After a quick first glance it may appear that there is nothing unusually special about these pools; but after a closer look, creatures such as mantis shrimps, colourful sea anemones, sea squirts and sea slugs abound.
Most of these animals are brightly coloured to blend in with the brilliant orange of a sponge or the deep purple and green of iridescent seaweeds. Many of these fascinating creatures have very interesting habits. For example mantis shrimps are masters of camouflage and have extremely strong front claws, which they use to crush the shells of their prey. Another creature that you may spot is the beautiful polka-dot bubble shell, which has a shimmering blue-green fringe around its muscular foot. This creature is an opisthobranch, which looks like a sea slug except it sports a shell.
Observant explorers will most likely find a striking array of creatures that are beyond the scope of their imaginations. So go ahead and take a peek!
By Megan Laird