There are a lot of things to be mindful of when going diving. Making sure your buoyancy is under control, your breathing techniques and making sure you are not touching anything underwater are some examples. But why is it so important that we don’t touch anything underwater? For one, you might harm the marine life around you, like corals and different critters, but they might also harm you! Today we are having a look at some critters found here in Lembeh that are venomous & poisonous, and we are going to look at the differences between these two terms!
Venom and poison are often used interchangeably because of their harmful impact on the human body caused by toxins, but it is important to understand the difference because it might change how you interact around some critters! The difference is simple – venom is injected, and poison is ingested. Venomous animals usually have fangs, spikes, stingers or barbs, and these are used to deliver the toxin. By using one of the various “tools” the animal is able to pierce the skin of its prey to inject the venom. Once the skin is broken, the venom travels from the glands where it is contained and this process is called envenomation. All Octopus, as well as some squid and cuttlefish are venomous for example.
Poisonous animals have either their full body or part of their body covered with a toxic substance, which means they are harmful to eat or touch and this is a form of defence. On some animals they show this off by displaying bright colours and patterns, this is to show that “I am dangerous, do not eat me!”. Nudibranchs are a great example of this, as they do not have a shell to protect their body. Some Nudibranchs produce their own poison, some ingest other marine life (like sponges) to gather this toxin.
Scorpionfish and Stonefish are two examples of venomous fish. They have spikes over their body that can deliver venom to any unsuspecting predator. The Stonefish is actually the most venomous fish in the ocean! They are capable of producing a sting that can kill a human in less than an hour. The sting is extremely painful, and is enough to dissuade most predation. However, there are still some people who eat this fish. If prepared properly by removing the venomous dorsal fins, it is safe to eat (although I wouldn’t take my chances!).
There are some marine life that are both venomous and poisonous, for example, the beautiful Blue Ringed Octopus. These golf ball sized octopuses have a venom that is 1,000 more powerful than cyanide, and they pack enough venom to kill 26 humans within minutes! They’re also poisonous if eaten. The venom is contained in the salivary glands and delivered through a bite, which means you do not need to worry if you are photographing a Blue Ringed Octopus, as long as you treat it with respect and do not stress it as the bite is also a defensive mechanism as well as predatory.
We hope you learned something interesting from this blogpost, and can look at some different critters with a new perspective! You should not be afraid of going diving because of some creatures characteristics, but it is good to be aware of this, and make sure you are not putting your hands or knees just about anywhere as you never know what might be camouflaged there!
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.
ROOMS & BUNGALOWS
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).
BOATS & FLOATING JETTY
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.