This is ME


03 May 2024

What Do You Call a Gang of Paper Nautiluses aka Argonauts?

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Last night's blackwater dive was beyond amazing, it was downright mind-blowing! I can't even begin to express how each session is like diving into a whole new dimension of crazy. I mean, we're talking about critters that move faster than a blink and are teeny tiny to the nth degree!

So, picture this: it's a moonless night, and we're diving into the blackwater with one mission in mind – to spot our first-ever blanket octopus or paper nautilus. And guess what? Before I even hit the 5-meter mark, bam! Something whizzes past my face, and I'm like, "Whoa, was that a paper nautilus?" I didn't even have time to think; I just started snapping away like a maniac, just in case.

Now, I was expecting something micro-sized, like maybe a measly centimetre, but nope, this thing was a solid 4 to 5 cm on a long jelly. And speaking of jellies, the water was so thick with dust specks that it felt like the entire world’s linen and bath towels has just been shaken and only came to life when the light beams passed over. It added a whole new layer of challenge to the mix.

But then, just a few minutes into the dive, I stumble upon this teeny tiny lobster-shaped creature, less than a centimetre in size. I swear, it was the cutest thing I've ever seen! And as if that wasn't enough, I look up and see all the divers congregating in one spot. So, naturally, I swim over to check it out, and lo and behold – a paper nautilus! This one was a good 5 cm, which made me realise I've been focusing on the wrong size this whole time. Rookie mistake #lol

Anyway, now that I've got my eyes adjusted to the right scale, I start my search for one about 3 cm in size. And wouldn't you know it, within seconds, there's one right there in front of me! I'm talking heart-pounding, pulse-racing excitement as I watch this little beauty float and pulse with all the grace of an underwater pulsing critter #lol I observed it just me and it, Its tentacles, those big ol' eyes, the metallic freckles on its pale skin – it's its delicate paper like shell, those folds or undulations perfectly spaced…..

I'm so lost in the moment that I barely notice our guide frantically waving their flashlight and pointing at the nautilus, like, "Hey, over here!" That's when it hits me – time to get those shots in! So, I started shooting, capturing every precious second of this once-in-a-lifetime encounter. The others gathered around, and we shared in the delight of spotting Nautilus number 2. Afterward, I ventured off in search of something new. About 10 minutes later, a massive plume of orangey-brown ink appeared, but there were no squid in sight. However, to my surprise, there was another paper nautilus! I tried to signal the others, but they were slightly above me and were already observing one without a jelly, the ones I found were all eating and females.! Throughout the dive, I believe we encountered at least 5…..6 , if not more, most were all eating on And let me tell you, it was absolutely, positively, insanely awesome! Now, what do you call a group of paper nautiluses? A flock, a school, a fever? How about pure madness, The pure madness of Paper Nautiluses HAHAHA

A #REAM of Paper Nautiluses!!!  Thanks Augustine!!!
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