Who doesn’t dream of a whale shark encounter while diving? Or dream of shoals of mantas, pods of dolphins, solitary sharks, and graceful whales? But who dreams of the small creatures? It’s not only encounters with big animals that will make your dive spectacular.
Muck diving refer to locations where macro species tend to gather, the wonderful world of the weird and small. They’re typically attracted by the shelter that can be found in the layers of silt and muck, found on the seabed. Nudibranches, sea horses, mandarin fish, flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, frogfish and pipefish are a mere sample of popular species that so many divers dream of.
Take your camera! Because today we are travelling to the best muck diving destinations!
THE CORAL TRIANGLE
It is relatively a small area, covering just 1.6% of the planet’s oceans, but it holds a staggering 76% of known underwater species. This incredibly rich ecosystem holds over 3000 species of fish, and new species are consistently being discovered as we explore more of the region. It has one of the largest concentrations of whale sharks worldwide, and the most extensive mangrove forests. As such, the region is sometimes known as the ‘Amazonas’ of the ocean, and it’s a highly sought after location for any diver.
The Coral Triangle is a region known for holding one of the most biodiverse environments on the planet. It refers to a location that draws its outline around Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands.
Make sure you add the Coral Triangle to the top of your bucket list! Here are some of the best scuba diving sites in the Coral Triangle.
Well known as the jump island to the famous Sipadan, Mabul itself and Siamil island are some of the most spectacular dive spots for muck diving. In the North East of the Malaysian Borneo, Mabul is ready to offer you an incredibly long list of strange critters you probably have never heard of before. Harlequin shrimps, mandarin fish, ghost pipefish, flamboyant cuttlefish, ribbontail eels, leaf scorpionfish, frogfish… The list is seemingly endless! In addition, some dive centres in Mabul run turtle hatcheries and conservation programs that support a huge population of turtles. You are guaranteed to see them in nearly every dive.
Muck diving sites refer to locations where macro species tend to gather, the wonderful world of the weird and small. They’re typically attracted by the shelter that can be found in the layers of silt, and muck, found on the seabed.
Around 20% of the world’s coral reefs can be found in the amazingly rich and vibrant waters of Indonesia. The diverse marine life includes over 3000 fish and 600 coral species. The country itself is the main protagonist of the Coral Triangle. Blue ring octopus, pigmy seahorse, soft coral crabs, popeyed scorpionfish and boxing crab, are just a few of the species found here. Indonesia is the home of some of the most incredible underwater critters. It also holds other fantastic underwater species such as the ocean sunfish (also known as Mola Mola), thresher sharks, and manta rays with wing spans of over 5 m.
Some of the best scuba diving destinations in Indonesia are the Lembeh Strait, Tulamben Bay in Bali, Raja Ampat, Manado, Ambon, Komodo and Alor Island.
Boxing Crabs, Nudibranches, Sea Horses, Mandarin fish, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Blue-ringed Octopus, Frogfish, and Pipefish are a mere sample of popular species that so many divers dream of seeing.
ANILAO, DUMAGUETE AND DAUIN, PHILIPINES
Over 2200 fish species lives in the Philippines. Is also home of amazing critters like the lembeh sea dragon, whip coral shrimp, and many varieties of frogfish. Anilao, close to Manila, has been recently discovered as world-class muck diving region. Dumaguete and Dauin, in the Island of Negros, are famous throughout the diving world for their incredible macro species. Between February to April, the Philippines also plays host to one of the world’s largest gathering of whale sharks in the world!
The Coral Triangle is a fascinating area of our planet where you discover that, a dive, can be engraved forever in our memory thanks to the small creatures that inhabit their corals. Enjoy your dives and remember, take pictures, leave only bubbles.