The Lembeh Strait separates the islands of North Sulawesi and Lembeh in Indonesia and sits in the heart of the coral triangle. It has become internationally renowned for its ‘Muck Diving’ and has become known as the world’s strangest square mile due to the abundance of rare critters. The Lembeh Strait is a mecca for underwater macro photographers.
Once you dive into the ‘twilight zone’ the water is murky and there is litter strewn across the seabed but look closer and you will discover countless benthic marine creatures making their homes and thriving in this unique environment. For example, discarded beer bottles are home to an array of blennies and gobies and Coconut octopus make their homes in coke cans and old clamshells.
The topography in the strait changes from gorgonian encrusted reefs in the north to classic black sand slopes further south. These different environments playing host to individually specialized organisms. This area is incredibly bio diverse.
Some critters such as the Bobbit worm look like the stuff of nightmares, others comical such as the numerous varieties of frogfish and others beautifully colourful, such as the nudibranches.
Diving with a camera in Lembeh offers boundless encounters with rare animals and so ample opportunity to document unusual behavior and capture memorable images.
This is addictive and highly gratifying diving as each dive reveals another strange and rare creature. It takes a few days for the initial excitement to settle, to be able to concentrate on the photography but once into the swing of things though, memory cards fill quickly.
I have now made three visits to the Strait and following are some of the images I was able to capture during my time. Each time, I have stayed at the excellent Lembeh Resort and I look forward to visiting again in September.
Find more of Nick’s photography here.