Yellow in Darkness

Yellow encrusting sponge in darkness

For a long time I’ve been intrigued by the wild, unearthly colours of sponges. My experience with them was very limited while I was living in Europe. There are (almost) no sponges in fresh water, also they are not so typical for the underwater scenery of Mediterranean Sea.¬†When we moved to New Zealand and I started to dive in the murky waters around Auckland, that was one of my first experiences … large areas of bright yellow and orange encrusting sponges protruding from the grey bottom. By ‘large’ I mean a couple of metres long!

Last year we went for a trip to Whangarei / Whangarei Heads. To visit the marine reserve near Reotahi was a part of the plan. The place did not disappoint me. Actually, I got hooked … in spite of the murky water. Clouds of juvenile fish, schools of pelagics, kingfish hunting in the current … all of that was there. And big sponges on the flat bottom and the rocks. Some of them were really huge, like this one on the picture.