If Fish Could Talk…

A lot of thinking goes on when you can’t speak immediately about what you see, especially if what you see is amazing.  The fish, hundreds of different kinds, seem to have their own personality.  Even though they can’t talk and all you can really do is observe, they are very interesting in their behavior and I found myself giving voice to them in my head.

Take the angel fish.  Very shy and skittish they are.  To get a photo of them, they have to be so absorbed in eating that they don’t notice you, or you have to sneak over the head of a very large coral where they are on the other side.  Once they see you, they are off like lightening.  I imagined they’d say something like, “Holy Cow!  What are YOU?  I need to swim away! Turn left at the coral!  Turn right at the turtle!  Hide in that crevice!”

Juvenile French Angel Fish

Adult French Angel Fish

The Parrot fish always swims very fast and frantic with a maniacal smile on his face.  His teeth are always showing, and puts me in mind of something like Joker meets the Mad Hatter, sometimes attacking the hard, crusty coral for his dinner with single-mindedness.

Parrot Fish

The Lion Fish, and Scorpion Fish rarely swim away when approached, and they don’t need to.  With their defensive protection of poisonous spines, they have little to fear.  They remind me of people who stand their ground quietly, but are perfectly capable of defending themselves if need be.  I imagine them saying, “Go ahead, poke me.  I dare you!”

Scorpion Fish

Lion Fish

The Puffer Fish also has a great self defense mechanism.  Much like a porcupine he inflates himself like a balloon and spines stick out all over his body.  But they seemed pretty shy, as you couldn’t really get very close to them.  I imagine they’d be saying, “Don’t do it!  Don’t make me blow up!  I just got through deflating!”  This guy certainly didn’t have much to fear in life–he was huge at about 2 1/2 feet long!

Puffer Fish

The Damsel Fish is a curious little thing.  He’s about the size of a dainty china saucer and knows no fear.  They are very territorial and will not hesitate to peck at you anywhere they see fit if you invade their space.  I was trying to get a picture of an arrow crab when one of these little things pecked my hand.  I imagined him saying, “Get away!  What do you think you are doing?  I don’t care how big you are!  LEAVE!”  It was quite comical, because all I could think was that he had no idea how small he was.

Damsel Fish

Arrow Crab

Squid are like ballerinas.  They glide gracefully through the water, and don’t really say much of anything.  They communicate by changing color.


This last picture was something very unique.  Frequently I’d see pairs of fish, and of course huge schools of fish.  Always, they would be segregated.  They didn’t really mix much within a school.  I watched this odd couple swim together for probably five or six minutes, and upon talking with others after they dive, they all saw them together as well. They seemed quite close and content, and I imagined their conversation going something like this:

Parrot fish:  “Dear, don’t push me!  Dinner is this way!”

Trumpet Fish:  “But honey, I wanted to browse among the coral on this side of the ocean.  There’s a lovely Blue piece I think would look good on our table.”

Parrot fish:  “All you ever think about is decorating!”

Trumpet Fish:  “All you ever think about is food.”

Parrot Fish Left, Trumpet Fish Right

Sounds familiar.  One of my last thoughts regarding fish had to do with the Sail Fin Blinney.  It’s amazing to see this tiny little creature poking out of a piece of coral.  But to me, he looked just like one of the characters in a Dr. Seuss book.

Sail Fin Blinney

Maybe that’s why I see people’s personalities when I’m watching and swimming with the fish.  Too much Dr. Suess.  But he really was a brilliant man when it came to knowing people.

This entry was posted in Bonaire, Dr. Seuss, family vacation, Post of the Day, postaday, Scuba Diving, underwater photography, vacation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to If Fish Could Talk…

  1. So much beautiful colour!

  2. Janie Thurman says:

    Delightful. Loved the photos and the dialogue. Well done!!

  3. Barneysday says:

    I’ve had salt water aquariums in the past, but there is nothing like seeing them in their natural settings. Thanks for sharing

  4. Great pictures, funny conversation, & interesting observations.

  5. you did well, I heard their voices, the pics made it a fun exercise in watching AND listening!

  6. These photos are amazing. It must have been so cool to see so many fish up close like that!

  7. terry1954 says:

    i have always been fascinated by fish, love the fish tanks, aquariums, fishing for them and eating them

  8. Jim Cantwell says:

    The Sail Fin Blinney looks like the blue fish from, one fish two fish red fish blue fish, Arnel.
    Great photos 🙂

  9. jmgoyder says:

    Wow – these photographs are amazing. Love the dialogue!

  10. sayvan says:

    what camera are you using for these shots?… very nice.

    • Thank you! A canon G12. My hubby got a D7 with underwater housing for fathers day, so I took over his G12 that he had been using. It’s a great little camera, and canon makes the housing for underwater for it.

  11. Wow, you took all of these? They are absolutely amazing!! I couldn’t scuba dive sucessfully, let alone scuba dive while taking awesome photos at the same time! I am very impressed :).

  12. Isn’t nature unbelievable? Beautiful designs and colours of all kinds Diane

  13. chrisnvix says:

    Great post. Love the thoughts behind the underwater world. As a dive instructor/UW Photographer I often feel the same way. If you’re ever in Fiji looks us up for a dive or two, always fun to dive with a fellow photographer.

    • Thanks for visiting my blog! Loved yours as well, and look forward to seeing it developed. Definitely will look you up if we travel to Fiji-always good to have a dive master around! Still working out the photography–my 17 year old is definitely way better than me!! :-). Better buoyancy…

  14. robincoyle says:

    Looks like you were swimming in an aquarium! I loved how you got into the minds of your fishy-friends.

    I forgot to tell you we have a friend who dives all over the world and volunteers to do fish counts. How the heck do you count fish! Hold still everybody . . . one, two, three, aw shucks. one, two, three, damn. one . . .

    • What is going on with WP? I saw this the other day, and it disappeared before I could respond! Now it’s popped up again. O.K., so Hubby laughed and laughed at the idea of someone counting fish (he was reading your comment over my shoulder 🙂 ) How DO you do fish counts? I used to count chromosomes on a slide before I had kids (I worked in genetics) and I thought that was hard with only 46. In an ocean with thousands of fish? And how do you know if you already counted that one or not? I couldn’t help thinking what they thought. Every time I dove my brain would just take over giving them voice. Hehe.

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