A first hand account from Ivan Perez, local diver extraordinare and c0-owner of Dive with Natalie and Ivan. Learn more at http://www.divewithnatalieandivan.com/index.html. Ivan was one of the Lionfish team that met up with the rare Pyrosome (see previous AN article for video and more information). Here is his first hand account of this amazing event:
“It was so wonderful that helping the ocean provided us with such an amazing reward! You see, the reason we were on that dive was to remove lion fish from the reef. Natalie first saw the pyrosome from afar and approached it because she thought it was some kind of plastic trash. It was drifting and hovering in an odd way at about 80 ft. of depth. We remove any plastic we find so that turtles will not mistake it for jellyfish and try to eat it.
As Natalie approached the Pyrosome she discovered it wasn’t trash at all – It was alive! It was so unusual that she called everyone over to see it. As we watched, we could not figure out what it was and it became more mesmerizing! It was open at one end with nothing inside and yet it seemed to move as if the tapered end was some kind of head. There were no eyes or anything like a face. It was entirely made up of tiny, clear elongated bubbles. Each had a spot of red in it. These tiny creatures made up a whole that was considerably longer than Natalie and her fins. This was something none of us lion fish hunters had ever seen before in our collective total of well over 20,000 dives!
Sev remembered that he had seen one of these in a video taken from a submarine on Roatan. We watched the video together that afternoon and learned that this creature was a Pyrosome. However, on the video their pyrosome was seen at 500 ft of depth!” …. Ivan.