Here in Derbyshire is about as far from the sea as you can get in this country. Thankfully there are a few places you can go to see the inhabitants of the deep up close and personal. One of these places is the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham, which Tiro and I were fortunate to go visit recently.
Animals present a particular problem for photographers: they move for one. Taking photographs through water presents a few more: the blur and distortion created by the depth of water, the false coloration created by external coloured lights and the water itself, the often dark level of ambient light, and the ban on using a flash, all create difficulties in getting good pictures. Thankfully, I was able to get a few and after editing them I present them here for your viewing pleasure: Hail and praise to the wondrous variety of the oceans and seashores!
The Sea Life Centre doesn’t just have fish and crustaceans:
There are a few Hermit Crabs too:
A starfish climbing up the inside glass of their tank:
Out of the darkness come tiny jellyfish, no bigger than the palm of my hand:
Followed by a large tank containing a very large prehistoric-looking electric eel:
There are seahorses too: the centre runs a conservation and breeding programme:
Here’s one with a Pipe fish in the background:
This is a mudskipper – a fish which can climb out onto land using two legs: resembling a cross between a frog and a fish:
There’s a few tanks of Piranha here too:
And the spectacular but deadly Lion Fish
There are several species here I’m not familiar with:
A glimpse of a fast moving Leopard Shark:
The extended overbite of the Barracuda:
To something a little more familiar: The Centre also has a group of Asian Short Clawed Otters:
And finally: a walk through a glass tunnel inside a great tank full of fish, sharks and all manner of water denizens:
The distinctive shape of the Hammerhead Shark, in company with a great white ghost swimming through the water: the Centre’s Green Sea Turtle.