Wow! Makes you want to hop on a plane for Hawaii… Check out the magnificent jellies, shrimp, worms, and squid that rise to the surface to feed and mate…
WSJ: Diving in the Dark, Off Hawaii’s Coast
When people think of scuba diving, they usually envision coral and colorful fish. But every night, a swirling horde of organisms, including jellies, fire worms, zooplankton, gastropods, mollusks, larval squid and eel, makes its way from the ocean’s dark zone to the surface to feed and mate. Forget the African savannas. This is the largest animal migration on the planet, and it occurs around the world.
The Big Island, however, is the only place where you can see it easily on organized dives. The bathypelagic zone, where sea pressures can reach nearly 6,000 pounds per square inch more than a mile down, starts close to Hawaii’s coast—about a 15-minute boat ride from shore. Obviously, you can’t scuba dive that deep, but you can strap on a tank and wait for the ocean life to float up to you.
Seven years ago, Jack’s Diving Locker, an outfitter in Kailua-Kona, started offering this nighttime dive, calling it “Pelagic Magic” (“pelagic” describes something related to the open sea). Over the past 20 years, I’ve been on night dives around the world, including in Indonesia, the Caribbean and Hawaii (where, on a recent evening, more than a dozen mammoth manta rays swooped around me while I knelt on the ocean’s floor, in what felt like a marine stampede). This dive is the most mesmerizing of all. I’ll never thumb my nose at a dolphin, turtle or shark—but the Pelagic Magic experience is just so subtle, meditative and jaw-droppingly beautiful.