Here is where the internet gods have failed so far. I had a previous partial image and then there was the night dive with some orange and blue images. Farid and I found this one out in the open clinging to a coral outcropping. It is a hideous green color – the kind you immediately want to white balance correct (or hide by converting to B/W). Looking up spiked sea creatures – starfish, nudibranch, sea cucumber, urchins – there are many suggestions. It’s just that there are no pictures for me to compare and identify. It has arms and when you poke it, (It wasn’t me. Farid had an iron rod that he found…), it curls up into a spiky ball. It doesn’t move fast. I felt like a curious dog and then remembered to keep my nose from where it didn’t belong. So far no help from the kids… David, “What the…?” Julia, “Dad! What!!??”Three images and seen elsewhere, but still no clue as to the identity.
OK! I was watching the BBC news cable feed tonight. And finally, a clue – it’s the crown of thorns starfish that preys on the hard coral polyps of the reef. And they are hard to kill. There are some natural predators. But it’s a bad player on the reef that comes out at night. That explains a lot to me about why we first saw them at night. I suppose it is an instance in which you take it from the sea because it is bad for the reef. If you cut it in half both halves will grow. So it is a nightmare. And they come in different colors. Now I get it.