Fluorescent night dive turns a Red Sea reef into a modern day aquarium
The Red Sea is one of the most iconic regions for marine life and home to an amazing abundance and diversity of reef fish and corals. While we can enjoy a limited amount of sustainably collected fish from the region, all other marine life is banned from harvesting for ornamental aquariums. No worries because a recent night dive with fluorescent viewing equipment was recorded in a great video which turns the Red Sea into an in-situ reef tank.
Underwater dive videos are par for the course for excited divers but seeing this kind of fluorescent expose of the species-rich Red Sea is a real treat. While the stony corals dominating the top side of reef rocks can somewhat blend in with similar colors and shapes but they really stand out at night with the 450nm fluorescent-excitation spectrum being blasted out of the dive flashlight. The shapes of the different SPS stony corals is readily apparent, almost exaggerated with sharp fluorescent branches.
Of additional interest is the fluorescent examination of certain reef creatures at night. We would never think to shine the blue lights on our fish but as demonstrated in this video, porcupinefish and pipefish have some ostentatious markings that are hidden in regular light. We’ve enjoyed this kind of night show on our own aquariums for years first with the NightSea equipment and more recently with the Fluorescent Checker Flashlights. You know your reef looks awesome with all the blue lights on but if you haven’t already, try picking up a simple blue LED flashlight to spy on your reef tank at night, you’ll be amazed what you might find.