Not all classrooms have four walls. Whether you’re young, or young at heart, travel can teach you so much more than any textbook or lecture ever will. A global ‘classroom’ so to speak, travel expands our horizons, both literally and figuratively. It appeals to each and every one of our senses and there’s no doubt it totally transforms our mind, body and soul, returning us back home all the richer.
Travellers explore the world to witness different landscapes, engage with fascinating cultures, taste foreign flavours, learn local customs, observe unimaginable creatures and truly feel the heart and soul of a destination. The underwater world is no different. A marine ‘classroom’, the ocean captivates us with its unfathomable depth, sheer power and mysterious inhabitants.
Approximately 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by the oceans. These enormous and much-needed bodies of water produce more than half of the world’s oxygen supply, absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and help regulate our climate. Yet, faced with ever-present and increasingly catastrophic threats, from climate change, pollution and human encroachment to unsustainable fishing and overfishing, the oceans are in dire need our help.
For more than 26 years, &Beyond’s core company ethos of caring for the land, wildlife and people has remained at the heart of everything we do. This philosophy of care now extends to the earth’s water too, with the launch of our Oceans Without Borders initiative, which aims to connect our three tropical island destinations and plays a significant role in the conservation of 2 000 km (1 243 miles) of wild African coastline.
So, in honour of World Water Day, which was celebrated across the globe last week, here are 10 weird and wonderful underwater creatures. From eerie and extraordinary, to docile and downright dangerous, many of them can be spotted in and amongst the magnificent coral reefs of &Beyond Mnemba, Vamizi and Benguerra Islands, while others can be found lurking in the waters of South Asia and South America. The world is your ocean … come and explore the underwater classrooms with us.
Image © Christian Schlamann.
2. Green sea turtle
3. Ganges river dolphin
4. Blue-ringed octopus
5. Pygmy seahorse
6. Clown triggerfish
Image © Matt Reston.
7. Amazon river dolphin
8. Dragon moray eel (leopard moray)
9. Porcelain crab
Image © Dr Peter Allinson.