Pitcairn Islands Expedition Photos: A World in One Coral

Diving at Henderson it is so easy to be fascinated by the sharks and other large fishes, that we risk missing entire little universes. This gallery shows animals that I photographed inside a single Pocillopora (cauliflower coral) head—the size of a watermelon. And this is only a sample. Many more creatures are too small to be seen by the human eye underwater, or hide deep inside the branches. No matter what scale we view things at, Henderson reefs are full of life.

Read All Pristine Seas: Pitcairn Expedition Posts

Marine ecologist Dr. Enric Sala is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence who combines science, exploration and media to help restore marine life. Sala’s scientific publications are used for conservation efforts such as the creation of marine protected areas. 2005 Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, 2006 Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, 2008 Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum.
  • Allison Harris

    Such a gift to revel in, and be a part of such a pristine and other worldy, oceanic, loveliness. Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos, and for your writings, which seem to come from one who has not only eyes to see miracles, but a heart and soul to recognize and be awestruck by them as well. Thank you for the work you do to heal and preserve it all.

    To journey the susurrant breathing grace of the waves by day,
    Interfused with teeming life in consummate freedom,
    And dance beneath a pirouetting, celestial net,
    to beguiling music of the spheres by night,
    is there anything which speaks more loudly or truly,
    the quintessence of Paradise?

    Revel deeply in each days treasure and Promethean paradise, and through all you so graciously share, we too shall dream…………..

  • Gabriela

    Great fish pics! loved that spotted coral croucher…one needs a lot of patience and time to spot these critters but it is sooo worth it. I wanted to know about seabirds. I am curious to know if these atolls are inhabited by lots of birds.

  • […] following photo gallery is of animals that I photographed inside a single Pocillopora (coliflower coral) head – the […]

  • angeltoty

    nice pictures.beauty fish.ALLAH(God)created them,to enjoy the view of them.and say(SUBHAN-ALLAHI).

  • David

    I would be curious to learn about the people living on Pitcairn as they mostly should be descendants from the Mutiny on the Bounty.

  • Sumy Thomas

    Nice pictures.

  • […] Photos: A World in One Coral […]

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

Social Media