There was a problem rendering your image gallery. Please make sure that the folder you are using in the Simple Image Gallery Pro plugin tags exists and contains valid image files. The plugin could not locate the folder: media/k2/galleries/81
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 10:15

An unexpected encounter (English subtitles)

Written by 


Roberto Palozzi/EREBUS Productions
The huge colony of planktonic tunicates The huge colony of planktonic tunicates

This really was a surprising encounter.

And I confess that when I saw him to appear out of the blue, I was scared, at the beginning.
I never bumped into something like that, not even on television.
I was making a documentary for RAI (the Italian National Television ) on the last voyage of the "Rainbow Warrior" (the famous " Greenpeace " ship, sunk by the French secret service in the harbour of Auckland - New Zealand - in 1985) and with my assistant we were diving on the seabed of the Poor Knights Islands for a few days.

Rainbow Warrior Deck WM

These islands are a paradise for divers and hundreds of giant stingrays probably are the main attraction. At least until the meeting with this huge "underwater snake"...

Sting ray swimming WM-1

Actually, I realized pretty quickly that this sea monster would not have devoured us because it was a huge colony of harmless, planktonic tunicates, belonging to the genus Pyrosoma: thousands of small, gelatinous organisms that gather together to form a translucent and hollow tube, open at one end only.

Pyrosoma2 WM

The extraordinary nature and fortune of my encounter stem primarily by the size and the "health" of this colony: it was at the height of its splendor, at the apex of its biological cycle.
One of the best moments I have ever experienced underwater.

1 comment

Login to post comments

Video productions, documentaries and reportages of Nature, Culture and Science
02100 Rieti (RI), Italy