Tulamben: Fish, Interrupted

Still remember the day I discovered one of the biggest mysteries in the whole underwater universe: fish don’t have eyelids. I was diving in Tulamben and found it was hard for me to accept it. Blame it on cartoons and folklore that made them can blink and utter what they think!

Just how to define sleep in fish?
Is it the unresponsiveness?
Do they take siesta?
But then what about pelagic fish? They swim continuously.

Do they dream in sleep?

How long do they sleep?

It’s like they are alert all the time. Sleeping awake. Dreaming wide-eyed.

When I combed the coast early morning, I spotted this spotted grouper lying motionless at the bottom, seemingly to ignore me. You know how quickly it darts away at any encounter! And I was sure it was not in the state of mimicry, for it is bright red like a Christmas decoration.

I paddled very slowly to take a good closer pic of him/her. When I was only about a meter away, perhaps upon sensing me, it flew right away. I felt guilty for disturbing its sleep. Luckily, it still gave me the best portrait of the day.

And what I want to say is: I believe sleep is important and that every creature takes rest in between their daily activities. So it is important to respect fish’s time to have a nap by not disturbing them when we enjoy ourselves underwater. Leave them alone and maintain a good distance.

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