Take a look at the top 10 must-see list for Lembeh Strait. Join group leaders, Jeff Sharp and Kawika Leicher on an amazing trip boasting the most unique diving the world has to offer. Lembeh Strait, an unassuming stretch of water between Lembeh Island and North Sulawesi, is filled with unexpected creatures found across the substrate, on every sponge, sea fan, and coral! Trip details.
1. Hairy frogfish– Commonly found in Lembeh, the hairy frogfish will be a treat for divers! Different from other frogfish species this one is covered in spines. These spines resemble strands of hair allowing the marine animal to camouflage itself against coral and seaweed. Sharp is looking forward to seeing this creature most of all.
2. Flamboyant cuttlefish– This tiny but deadly creature is not a fish at all. Cuttlefish are actually part of a group that includes the squid, octopus and nautilus.
3. Sheep nudibranch– This nudibranch looks like a little undersea sheep made out of seaweed! It is only a few millimeters in length and feeds on the green algae. It even grazes like a real sheep! For nudibranch lovers, the diversity of species to be found here is mind-boggling.
4. Bobbit worm– Writer, Scott Simon, captures the essence of the bobbit worm in his post on Wired.com, “This is Eunice aphroditois, also known as the bobbit worm, a mix between the Mongolian death worm, the Graboids from Tremors, the Bugs from Starship Troopers, and a rainbow — but it’s a really dangerous rainbow, like in Mario Kart. And it hunts in pretty much the most nightmarish way imaginable, digging itself into the sea floor, exposing a few inches of its body — which can grow to 10 feet long — and waiting.
Using five antennae, the bobbit worm senses passing prey, snapping down on them with supremely muscled mouth parts, called a pharynx. It does this with such speed and strength that it can split a fish in two. And that, quite frankly, would be a merciful exit. If you survive initially, you get to find out what it’s like to be yanked into the worm’s burrow and into untold nightmares.”
5. Wonderpus- The wonderpus octopus hunts around the reef for crustaceans during dawn and dusk and are not too shy. They hunt by flaring out their arms and webbing over small rocks and holes then use their arm tips in an attempt to find their prey. You’ll not be disappointed if you see this display. *Wonderpus photo by Sarah Mayte.
6. Lembeh Sea Dragon– You never know what you’re going to see when diving in Lembeh and has the potential to surprise even the seasoned divers. The Lembeh Sea Dragon is a relatively new species of pygmy pipefish reaching only 3cm in length, it’s as thin as a piece of string.
7. Juvenile fish- Like many places around the world, Lembeh is a haven for juvenile species. Many of these juveniles mimic other creatures and grow up to look much different.
8. Scorpion fish- Two Scorpion fish come to mind when thinking about diving in Lembeh. Group Leader, Kawika Leicher will be on the lookout for the Rhinopias scorpion fish and the indian walkman. The indian ocean walkman (Inimicus didactylus) is also known as the Demon Stinger fish, Devil Stinger fish or Bearded Ghoul. It is a member of the Inimicus genus of venomous fishes, closely related to the true stonefishes. It is irregularly surfaced with spines and a knobby appearance. The fish has venomous spines to ward off enemies.The Rhinopias species can be found in white, yellow, purple, red and all manner of other colors and has circles rather than lines covering the body.
9. Bumblebee shrimp- Bumblebee shrimp are a very rare shrimp. The body is white banded with a series of black tan bands. It has orange markings on the tail and chelipeds. They are very rare so keep your eye’s peeled.
10. Stargazers- This strangest of strange creatures hides most of their body in the sand with only their eyes and mouth looking upward towards the stars. They lie in wait for their food to swim over them and then explode from the bottom, impaling their prey with sharp teeth.