It’s a dream photograph for many, capturing that moment when a frogfish chooses to yawn. It happens very quickly so your reflexes have to be on point, and it doesn’t happen very often. Sometimes divers will spend a whole dive just waiting for that precious behavior to take place. But why do they yawn? In this blog we are going to be explaining this interesting behavior!

Frogfish yawns are really quite a funny sight to behold. Out of nowhere, the very still frogfish will open and expand its mouth, sometimes up to 12 times the size of the original volume. Some yawns happen extremely quickly, whilst some are a bit more of a lazy affair. There are actually 3 different reasons as to why they do this.

Firstly, one of the biggest yawns you might see from a frogfish can actually be related to stress. The frogfish simply is feeling threatened and by opening its mouth nice and big it is telling you to back off! Frogfish are known to eat each other, so the yawn becomes a defense mechanism to ward off other frogfish by showing off their big mouths. Some people believe that when photographing them, the frogfish can see their own reflection in the camera lens, and thinking it is an enemy this can trigger a yawn.

The second type of yawn we see is one more commonly spotted after the frogfish has eaten. They will open their mouths (although not as wide as for stress related reasons) and sort of, cough. When the frogfish eats there is usually other objects that they can not digest or do not want, like sand or fish scales. To get rid of this the frogfish will “cough” and spit these bits out in quick succession.

The third and last type of yawn, usually occurs before feeding time. This yawn is meant to re-align their jawbones. The jawbones might get misaligned during previous feeding, or swimming for example. The frogfish doesn’t want this to disturb it’s next feeding opportunity and uses this big yawn to pop everything back into their normal positions!

The next time you see a Frogfish yawn, try to identify which one is taking place! However, do remember that in general, once you’ve seen a yawn it is time to give the frogfish some space and move on to another subject!

Why Dive with NAD-Lembeh Resort?


NAD-Lembeh Resort is a small, owner-operated, photography-oriented dive resort in the Lembeh Strait. We are situated in a private bay on Lembeh Island, away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. We guarantee a 2:1 guest to guide ratio as standard, which makes for a private dive experience and lots of time to take pictures.


All our rooms (10 Beachfront Rooms, 5 Seaview Bungalows) offer ocean view, air conditioning, hot water, wifi, including full board. Our resort has only few steps, which makes our layout extremely convenient to get from your room to the restaurant, camera room, bar and floating jetty.


Our dive team consists of 15 full-time guides, with over 100 years of combined experience! Air as well as Nitrox and various cylinder sizes (both DIN and Yoke are available onsite).


NAD-Lembeh has 4 large, purpose-built dive boats. Each at around 15m long, they offer lots of space and comfort for the divers. Boats feature onboard toilets, towels, drinks and snacks and first aid/ oxygen.

Our jetty allows our guests dignified and quick boat entries – all our dive boats can be moored simultaneously, so there is no wading through the shallows to get on the boat for the dive!


Our focus at NAD is to take your underwater photography to the next level. We offer 1:1 photo classes and our guides are all proficient with photography, using our rental equipment for fun dives when not diving with guests.

We shoot video up to 8K, along with Nikon/ Canon SLR and mirrorless setups. This gives us a rounded knowledge of all cameras. We are also the go-to location for natural history filming in the Straits.


Our newly renovated, huge camera room offers one work space for each and every guest. The spacious, individual benches with lots of power points were purposely built for underwater photographers. NAD’s dedicated camera room is also the perfect place to work on and edit your pictures.

Several rental cameras and strobes are available onsite. We have basic tools and spare parts in our gift shop in case of minor camera problems as well as a drying cabinet, and computer for you to work on and edit your photos.