“In essence, the shooting of Heishui is to observe a battlefield in the dark. Although many of the pictures we see are very beautiful, the essence What we saw above is the process of one species being preyed by another species.” This article is from the WeChat public account:Gezhi On the Dao Forum (ID: SELFtalks), the original title: “This 20-meter transparent tube is actually made up of thousands of sea creatures | Zhang Fan”, Speaker: Zhang Fan (a UNESCO MAB contracted photographer), the head picture is taken by the author

I believe that many friends should like the vast sea very much, but how much do you know about the depths of the ocean?

I started underwater photography in 2010 and it has been 10 years now.

I grew up in Hainan since I was a child. Before I learned to walk, I had been crawling around and swimming around the sea, so I have had a special love for the sea since I was a child.

This is when I was about two years old, and my mother was at the End of the World in Hainan. At this time, I had a special obsession with shells and fish.

When I was young, my love for the ocean is reflected in my paintings, which I painted when I was five and a half years old.

There was a sailboat in the vast ocean, and two divers put two headlights into the sea. The headlights attracted many plankton.

These plankton attracted many small predators, and the small predators attracted these large predators.

This is a painting that embodies the chain of marine life. This painting is also the center of my career that I have been struggling with.

Not all places are suitable for black water shooting

One of the main themes I am shooting now is Marine plankton. Over the years, I have also shot many different subjects all over the world.

I have photographed Ye Hailong in a temperate seaweed forest. I have also been to a tropical World War II shipwreck to explore its invisibility room to find these unknown secrets.

I have been to an island country in the South PacificDancing with big-winged whales, watching the wonderful scenes of my mother with children, I have also been to the depths of the ocean to explore the unknown abyss and explore the magical marine plankton.

Many people may think that marine plankton are small animals, but it is not necessarily true.

The picture on the left is a photo of me at work, and the long pipe in front of me is a firefly.

Fire worms are connected by thousands of tiny creatures through neurons. It can be extended indefinitely, even more than 20 meters long, which is very spectacular.

Every night, when we dive into the sea, none of us knows what kind of creatures we can see, and what kind of spectacles will happen before your eyes.

The two pictures on the right are all work photos taken by my good friends during the process of photographing marine plankton.

In the upper right corner is a zebra octopus. Many divers may be familiar with the adult zebra octopus.

But no one knew what their larval stage looked like. At that time, only a handful of people in the world might have seen their larvae.

In the lower right corner is a mallow boat octopus, which may not be familiar to everyone. This is a kind of pelagic octopus. The female of this octopus has a shell, and they like to hold jellyfish to make pelagic trips.Row.

There are so many secrets in the unknown deep sea that we should explore. Not every place can be photographed in black water.

This picture shows some dive sites suitable for shooting black water. Most of the dive sites are concentrated in the Coral Triangle, which is the area of ​​Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The species diversity in this area is very good, so there is a good accumulation, and the larvae of these species can be seen.

We can also go to Palm Beach in Japan, Hawaii, and Miami.These places have a lot of ocean currents, ocean currents can bring a lot of food, and these food nourish a lot of plankton.

Different dive sites have different shooting habits, and the biological groups you see will be very different.

This is a schematic diagram of black water shooting. The so-called black water photography refers to the suspended shooting on the bottom of the bottomless abyss in the ocean. The shooting depth is generally between 0 meters and 30 meters.

There is a large floating ball in the picture. A long rope hangs from the floating ball. There will be a large searchlight every 5 meters on this rope.

This searchlight is like the moon, it will attract these plankton, and these small plankton will slowly attract the big predator.

So under the protection of this headlight, we can see all kinds of magical scenes happening before our eyes.

the largest migration event on earth

Every day after night falls, there will be one of the largest migrations in the world on a global scale. We call this migration the vertical migration.

Every night, these little plankton may slowly walk toward the sea from an abyss that humans can never reach.

This may be our only chance to see this creature’s childhood stage in our lifetime.

When it grows up, it may sink into an abyss we can never go, and we may never be able to meet it again.

This is a juvenile of Xuezhensiyu. It looks a bit like a hairtail, but it is close relatives to moonfish and emperor hairtail.

It is a kind of fish of the Moonfish order. It grows very ordinary after adulthood, just like a big long strip, but when it was young, it looked like a bright firework.

This kind of fish does not move fast. It drifts slowly in the water like waving a sleeve.

But when it sees a person, it will slowly descend from 5 meters to 10 meters, 20 meters, 30 meters, until it drops to a depth that I can’t reach, and slowly disappears before my eyes.

When I saw this fish for the first time, I was already staring at it and I couldn’t take pictures.

Fortunately, I came across the third and fourth points later, and finally succeeded in taking a photo like a firework to my satisfaction.

What we are seeing now is a juvenile bream, which is a very deep deep-sea fish.

Although it is still small, we can tell from its body structure and the bony protrusions on its head that it is a very special deep-sea fish.

These deep-sea juveniles are either very special in body shape or particularly bright in color. In short, they will have some interesting characteristics different from other creatures.

This is a very special octopus. Most of the octopuses are ordinary, and most of them live on the bottom of the sea, and this is an octopus that lives in the ocean for a lifetime.

Its biggest feature is this very beautiful blanket. What is this blanket used for?

It is used to intimidate the enemy. When it encounters a huge predator, it will shake off the blanket in an instant, and then quickly open it. The entire blanket is covered with eye spots. It can instantly Scare the enemy back.

But what if the enemy is not deterred?

It will quickly cut off its blanket and throw it out for a while.

This blanket is still moving, and it feels like a living thing that will attract the attention of predators, and then the blanket octopus will run away dingy in the abyss.

This is a zebra octopus. Few people saw zebra octopus in the past few years.

Although many divers have photographed this kind of octopus now, the pigment cells are fully bloomed, showing a very bright color state, but it is hard to find.

A good photographer needs to capture the most characteristic and representative moments of these creatures.

This is a symbiotic shrimp in a firefly insect. The firefly insect is a huge creature formed by connection and replication of many small individuals.

This creature is very close to humans. It is also a chordate. It can be said to be a relatively advanced creature. When it swims, we can even feel that it is like an intelligent creature.

On such a huge carrier like an aircraft carrier, we can often find a variety of passengers, such as this symbiotic shrimp.

In the shooting of Black Water, we can often not only see small creatures such as fire bugs, but also giant monsters that can grow up to tens of meters sometimes suddenly appear from behind you.

When we are lucky, our lights will attract sharks.

This is a brown nurse shark, a very common shark in the Maldives. They are very docile and will not attack people.

However, they are very curious about these lights, because they may be able to bring food to them.

These sharks are very big and can grow to three or four meters long, but their habits are very gentle. They like to eat some small fish and shrimps, so this headlight can bring them a lot of food.

fish big eighteen change

The larvae of many fish have very special appearances.

It may be difficult to imagine that the normal fish we usually see when diving, swimming, and snorkeling, including the food fish we see in the vegetable market, They often have a very bright childhood.

For example, this is the larvae of a well-known willer eel. All fish of the order Anguilla go through a long larval stage.

At this stage, its body is flat, almost colorless, the whole body is transparent, the head is small, and the fin rays and internal organs are not fully developed.

When they grow up, they are a very huge giant with almost no natural enemies.

This is an adult of Javan bare-breasted eel, which can grow to more than two meters in size.

This is the adult fish of Carangalidae. This is the six-strap trevally, also called Jack. They usually appear in large groups. Carangidae is also the most common fish we see during diving.

However, it may be difficult for us to imagine what their larvae will look like.

This is also the larva of a kind of trevally, called silk trevally. The streamer of silk trevally comes from its dorsal and pelvic fins, and has an elongated wire drawing.

This extension is not to look good or to be cute, It is to pretend to be a highly poisonous jellyfish toconfuse predators.

In the middle of this photo is a diver. Following the diver’s gaze, we can see that the foreground is a colorful coral reef. There is a strange fish hidden in the coral reef, this is a stone fish.

Stonefish is a highly poisonous fish, it looks bad, so it usually chooses to hide in coral reefs and mimic it perfectly.

We generally don’t see it. It will suddenly open its mouth when the prey is passing by, and then suck the prey into the mouth by negative pressure.

This is an ugly and mysterious fish. It may be difficult for us to imagine what this fish would be like when it was young.

This is what a scorpionfish looked like when it was a child. Do you think it’s totally different from an adult?

This looks very holy, very gorgeous, like a little angel, and it looks particularly noble, and its two huge pectoral fins look like aristocratic raf collars.

What’s the use of pectoral fins so big?

Actually, when we saw this little fish, its pectoral fins fanned and fanned, it looked like a little jellyfish was slowly advancing.

These fish are very small, but they have learned how to survive: How to pretend to be poisonous creatures to prevent them from being eaten by large fish.

Flounder should be a familiar fish, because it is often seen in seafood markets.

Most of the adults of flounder are very ordinary, with two eyes on the same side, and they usually live in the sand. It may be because it is too ugly to see people.

But have we ever wondered how interesting they looked when they were young?

After this picture was posted on Weibo, everyone liked it very much, and netizens gave it a name, Qitian Great Sage, why?

Because it has two long “tentacles” on its head.

What is this “tentacles” for?

We don’t know, but the two antennae are its first dorsal fin and second dorsal fin.

The bones and fin rays of these juvenile fish develop slowly, so sometimes we can see that there are two fins, three fins, four fins or more on the top of the head.

At this stage, the flounder is still floating in the water, so we can see that its swim bladder is still in a very complete state.

In adulthood, it will live lurking in the bottom of the sand, so this unnecessary organ slowly degenerates.

At this stage, the flounder still has one eye on each side.

So every flounder will go through a very embarrassing stage during its growth, because one of its eyes will cross its back and run to the other side.

So there is a stage where the flounder will be like Erlang, with an eye on top of the head, this is a very interesting state.

The crown shapes of different types of flounder are also very different. Some have a moxican head, and some have very smooth hair, which are all made of their dorsal fins.

The color of these flounders is very colorful, and the body is very transparent, so we can see every fin and every bone of its body very clearly.

The appearance of these colors is often caused by the refraction of light through its transparent body. This color is not their inherent color, but because of special optical refraction.

So from different angles, the flounder may show different colors. It is like colored glaze or a special transparent gem, which is very attractive.

Friends who often go out to play may see flying fish startled by fish boats or other boats when they travel at sea.

This is the only fish that can leave the water for more than a few minutes and fly freely in the air.

They may be free diving champions among fish, able to see the appearance of another world.

Usually on a calm sea, we can clearly see the process of these flying fish taking off, gliding, and then landing.

Why do flying fish fly out of the water?

Usually because there are predators chasing it under the water, some large predatory fish, such as mahi mahi, can glide away from the water briefly by opening their very strong pectoral and ventral fins.

What will the larvae of flying fish look like? Many people may be completely unclear.

This photo is of the larvae of Atlantic flying fish I took in Florida, USA. This larva may only be the size of a fingernail, and it may not have been long since it was born.

Although it is very small, its fins used for gliding have been fully developed. As it grows older, its posture will become more colorful.

I specifically chose to take this photo from a top-down angle, we canSeeing that its pectoral fins are really beautiful.

In the sub-adult stage, it is like a butterfly, showing a very special camouflage form.

In the future, it will grow again, and may slowly retreat from its gorgeous children’s clothing and become a very ordinary vegetable market fish.

This is an adult Atlantic flying fish, unremarkable.

This is a picture I drew. It is a character in a Marvel animation film called Fu Manchu, which will appear in the movie “Shangqi” next.

I photographed a flying fish in the United States. It looks exactly like Fu Manzhou. It may be hard for us to imagine that this is a young Fu Manzhou flying fish.

It may be really hard for us to imagine why these young fish will remove one part of their body during the growth process.Partialize to this degree.

When I saw it, I thought my eyes were dazzling.

Because it is so small, it is only the size of my little finger, and its beard accounts for more than half of its body.

At this time, its fin rays are not very obvious, but its beard is really hard to ignore.

How do the appearances of marine life larvae form?

I don’t know whether its local specialization is to disguise it as other creatures, or to help them eat effectively or avoid predators.

It is still a mystery how and why the appearance of these marine life larvae forms.

This is a set of photos that I particularly like. This set of Jiugongge reflects the appearance of these fish from the front view.

There are larvae and adults in these pufferfish, but what is interesting is that their posture is very interesting from the front.

And the commendable thing about these photos is that their eyes are all looking directly at me.

Actually, the larvae of these fishes are very difficult to face you, because after seeing you, the first reaction is to run.

You usually follow it slowly, don’t lose it, follow it for a while.

Wait for it to slowly adapt to your existence and find that this person is not going to prey on it. At this time, it may turn its head back curiously and take a look at what you want to do.

So if you are lucky, you can getA very interesting expression of it looking back at you.

Different fish of the puffer family may appear round, may look like sea mines, may be polygonal, and may have horns on their heads.

There are also several adults mixed in in this photo. Sometimes adult fish of the puffer family will slowly drift into the water layer for food, so we will also see these adults in the black water. .

In essence, the shooting of Heishui is to observe a battlefield in the dark.

Although many of the pictures we see are very beautiful, in essence what we see is the process of one species being preyed by another species.

Maybe a second, this cute little fish is your little model in front of you, but in the next second, it may be slowly eaten into your mouth by a passing squid.

In this dark and overwhelming abyss, there are too many creatures that we have never known. Some I have not photographed, but they may have been recorded by others.

Sometimes when I was very curious to photograph its figure, I found that I could not find the information at all. It is possible that the creature I photographed was unknown to all human beings.

So this is something that is particularly attractive to me, and it has always been the motivation for me to continue it very enthusiastically.

Because I think that every day I may have some completely different new discoveries, and I will continue on this road to show you more and more interesting photos.

This article is from WeChat official account:Gezhilundao Forum (ID: SELFtalks), speaker: Zhang Fan