Comb jellies (ctenophora) are gelatinous animals able to swim using cilia arranged in rows along their bodies. The complex animals have muscle tissue, and nervous and digestive systems. Most ctenophores are bioluminescent. In addition, there is a rainbow effect at the comb rows caused by the scattering of light. This Leucothea multicornis was photographed in about 5 metres depth at the Serra de Tramuntana, Mallorca.

Comb Jellies, Beautiful Aliens of the Oceans

Comb jellies, or ctenophora, are marine animals with gelatinous bodies. When they slowly move through the water, the scattering of…
El Bajon is an underwater mountain near the fishing village of La Restinga in El Hierro. The steep summits rise from a hundred metres depth almost to the ocean surface. The currents support an abundant marine life with large dusky groupers, barracuda, greater amberjacks, and sometimes whale sharks and manta rays.

Diving on the Volcano: El Bajón

El Bajón is an underwater mountain at the southern tip of El Hierro, the island that once was the end…
Black moray eel (Muraena augusti) with large white eyes, El Hierro. Moray eels actively pump water in and out of their open mouths which is often mistaken as threatening. They have excellent sense of smell.

Marine Life in El Hierro (Part 2)

This is the second article about scuba diving and marine life in El Hierro. The waters around La Restinga are…
A dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus) curiously approaches. Dusky groupers can grow up to 1.5 metres length and live over several decades. They are an endangered species due to overfishing.

Marine Life in El Hierro (Part 1)

El Hierro sits on a ridge on the 3’500-metre-deep seabed, making it a dive spot with rich biodiversity. As marine…
Sailing from North Africa, first settlers arrived in El Hierro about five hundred years BC. Portuguese explorers landed in 1341 and found a stone age culture that had ended several thousand years earlier on the continents. In 1405, Jean de Béthencourt conquered the island for Spain and captured the native Bimbaches. In 1482, Portuguese Diogo Cão was the first European to sail beyond the West African Cape Bojador and the Canary Islands: he went as far as to the mouth of the river Congo. Later in 1493, Christopher Columbus fueled up his supplies on his second sailing to the Americas.

El Hierro, the Edge of the Old World

El Hierro once was the edge of the known world. The most western point of the Old World remained the…
Diving at the Tramuntana north coast in Mallorca.

Mediterranean Secrets: Serra de Tramuntana Underwater

Spain’s Serra de Tramuntana is a spectacularly wild and beautiful mountain scenery that continues underwater.
An Angel Shark (Squatina squatina) lies at the rocky ground in Fuerteventura. Angel Sharks were common in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, but commercial fishing has decimated the population via bycatch. Angel Sharks are a now critically endangered species. The Canary Islands are home to almost all of the remaining Angel Sharks population.

Angel Sharks

Angel Sharks are an unusually flat-bodied genus of sharks and grow to a length of 1.5 meter. Angel Sharks once were…
Night in Cadiz.

Cadiz after Midnight

Cadiz is not only a beautiful city with a picturesque old town, but also evaporates history with every step you…
Fisherboats lie at the beach La Caleta in Cadiz. The fort San Sebastian (left) and the Santa Catalina castle (right) were built in 1598 to deter further British attacks in the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604).

A Postcard from Cadiz

Cadiz is among the oldest cities of Western Europe founded around 1100 BC by the Phoenicians of Tyre, a maritime…