Author Maarten De Brauwer

My name is Maarten, I am a marine biologist, dive instructor, and biology teacher. I come from Belgium, but have been traveling the world as a dive instructor and marine biology researcher for nearly 10 years. From a very young age I have been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures that live in it. During my dive travels I developed a passion for the small, camouflaged, or outright weird critters that can be found below the surface. I currently live in Australia, where I do research on the species important for muck diving, such as frogfishes and seahorses. These animals are not only amazing examples of how crazy evolution can get, but are often important for dive tourism and the aquarium trade. The majority of tropical marine biology research focuses on charismatic or large species such as sharks, turtles and dolphins. Many of the less known, small or camouflaged species are equally important, but are barely studied at all. My work will hopefully change some of that and show the world that weird is beautiful too!

Scuba Features Critters
Blueringed Madness!

I am definitely not the first person to write about the Blue-ringed Octopus, but once you’ve seen one for yourself it is quite understandable that divers get excited about them. Blue-ringed Octopus are one of the few invertebrates you can call “cute”. Small size (Check!), adorable way of crawling around (Check!), innocent looking (Check!) and iridescent blue rings they look like something out of a cartoon (Check!). With the added level of spice that these are also one of the world’s most venomous animals, it’s only normal that people are interested in these critters.

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A few things you never knew about Seahorses!

Seahorses seem to be a big favourite for divers and non-divers alike, we actually know surprisingly little about them. Besides the fact that their males get pregnant, most divers don’t know that much about them. So here a few fun things you never knew about seahorses and will make you appreciate them even more next time you encounter them during your dives.

Scuba Features Frogfish
Frogfish Lure

Frogfish are one of those fish nearly all divers are drawn to (provided you can find them). They are weird animals: they look more like a sponge or lump of algae than a fish, they don’t bother swimming but walk across the bottom instead, they can gulp down prey larger than themselves, and they have what is basically a fishing rod stuck to their foreheads. New research has now found that they are even weirder than you already thought, something is up with the lures at the end of their “fishing rod”.