UPDATE: Tyler and I were apparently witnessing a scorpionfish orgy of epic proportions and I need to update my LinkedIn profile to include experience as a “fish porn” director. 🙂 I’ve had a couple different people say that these fish are known to congregate and mate during specific seasons but this is apparently a very large population / example of that and it appears to be pretty rare to witness it. I’m still researching if they always go back to the same place and getting more details of the behavior. Fascinating.
While Tyler and I were diving the Corsair (more on that later), we noticed something neither one of us has seen before. Below is an un-color-corrected photo straight out of the camera that I took shortly after finding the wreck:
When we first got to the bottom, we found the Corsair and then started looking around as our eyes adjusted and noticed a TON of fish congregating on the bottom. At first, I wasn’t sure if they were alive or what the shapes were.
Then I started seeing them move.
I’ve sent out a few emails to try to identify if this is “normal” or if we found something unique that marine biologists would be interested in. I’ve got additional pictures and GoPro video footage as well. Here is a short GoPro clip in 720p:
Like most wrecks, the site is in a depression in the sand (or “divet”) with most of the wreckage inside that divet. I would estimate the depression to be about 100′ across. EVERYWHERE inside that depression were groups of scorpionfish. Below are some color-corrected photos to give you a better idea of what I’m describing:
Scorpionfish will sometimes live in sandy areas but generally are found in a rocky habitat so that alone is pretty interesting. When you layer on the sheer number of fish we saw that all appeared to be on a long siesta, it made for a very interesting site.
If you know of anybody who can shed some light, please send them the pics or a link to the website and my contact info. I’d love to get more data on what we saw.