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Disco Ball


I’ve been giving wide berth to the urchins. The needles are sharp! How sharp? They can easily pierce my 3mm wet suit. Have you ever seen or heard a grown man cry underwater. Don’t try this at home! The first time was when I put my hand down to steady my camera. Yup! The needles went through my glove and into my hand. Damage done, I debated whether to take the picture or to pull the needles. I took the picture, of course. It was a puffer fish that our dive instructor trapped and thereby caused it to puff out. It was impressive to me as a novice diver. And then, when I went to get the needles out, I brushed my wet suit to scrape them off. The other end of the needle is just as sharp. Damn! Pain and then again, I was crying except you cannot really cry underwater. Laughing yet? When we emerged everyone had a good laugh. I threw out the glove. The wet suit still stung for a while but I had to keep it. And my hand was tattooed with lots of needles embedded. You don’t remove them. They eventually dissolve. I am not one to wait. So the next day my assistant and I were in the operating room with the Zeiss operating microscope removing the needles under high magnification. It was my left hand. I’m left handed. No easy task, except, that I had trained myself to use both hands to operate. But it was still not easy.

This disco thing? Well, for the first time I noticed the anatomy of the urchin. It has a disco ball that wave/rotates. Don’t know why, but, it is colorful. And colorful is what is interesting in underwater photography. I got a couple – well, more than a couple – shots. It seems that this is standard anatomy. Where have I been? Yes! Neat. Another detail underwater from an unexpected subject and I didn’t even have to get hurt doing it.


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