Flashlight Fish
Photoblepharon palpebratum

 

As the end gets closer, Lembeh is still astounding me. This week I did one of the most incredibly dives of my life.

The weather has been really calm so I thought it would be nice to go and do a dive at the far north end of Lembeh that I had only dome once before, along a wall called Jicoyance. While I was I discussing it with my guides, one of our new guides, Ungke, who worked at another resort previously, said why didn’t we go to a site called Dante’s Wall. It’s only a couple of minutes past Jicoyance, so that seem like a good idea, especially as none of my other guides had ever been there.

Then Ungke mentioned there was a cave there and then he said that it had ‘the fish that flashes’ inside. That got my attention! I asked him a little more about it as I couldn’t believe what I had heard. I knew vaguely about flashlight Fish but never suspected they existed in Lembeh. Wow, this was too good to be true.

So we went up to Dante’s Wall. The cave goes into the wall with the entrance around 10m (30ft) deep. It’s a really big cave, flat bottom and reaches about 20m (60ft) back. You can always see the entrance and we were, of course, equipped with torches.

So in we go. When the your lights are on there you cannot see the Flashlight Fish. We swam slowly to the back of the cave, settled down then turned our lights off. At first it is just pitch-black. All the flashlight Fish have been pushed right to the back of the cavern

After a few moments suddenly there starts one of the most beautiful and surreal shows I have every seen. Your eyes start to pick up little white lights in the distance, flashing on and off and swirling around as the fish move around in their school. Then they start to get closer and closer and you are surrounded my a natural light show as the large light organ under each eye can be turned on and off using a black membrane like an eyelid.

I was mesmerised and it was truly one of the most wonderful things I have seen anywhere.

I did manage to rouse myself and think about trying to take some video. I managed to capture some of the action, so please enjoy the clip. I turned my lights on right at the end, so you can get a glimpse of the fish.

One Response to Flashlight Fish
Photoblepharon palpebratum

  1. Terry StewartT. says:

    Kai,

    I’ve been to Italy and at a particular time of the year the fireflies come out and at dusk the sky looks just like that. Its very magical.

    Don’t forget to tell me when you’re on the move.

    Terry

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