The underwater world is mysterious, if for no other reason than that it’s not somewhere that we typically spend a lot of time. It’s unfamiliar, which tends to breed a healthy amount of curiosity. Getting the chance to explore can be exciting, especially if it gives you an opportunity to encounter the wildlife that live there. Still, as exciting as it may be, you have some responsibilities as a visitor there.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
If you had a guest in your home, how would you feel if they were bumbling about, bumping into things and breaking your home? That’s kind of what it’s like when humans aren’t careful about their movements and behavior when swimming in the ocean, especially around coral reef habitats. Avoid touching anything but the water and stirring up the ocean floor as much as possible. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t take anything with you unless it’s trash you happen to see and pick up, and you shouldn’t leave anything behind except for bubbles.
Keep Yourself to Yourself
It can be tempting to reach out and touch some of the animals you might see. They’re right there, after all, and some of them may be quite friendly. Resist the urge, however. Make no mistake, these animals are wild, even if they seem friendly. They can easily become frightened or injured if humans aren’t careful around them. Some of them may react defensively and cause injury to humans too.
Enjoy the Experience
Swimming in the ocean and sharing the water with marine wildlife can be an especially unique experience. It’s not every day that we get to see these magnificent animals up close. This is an excellent time to live in the moment and be present. You might even consider investing in an underwater camera. Just be aware that it may not always be appropriate to use the flash around some animals as you snap your photos.
Anyone who chooses to spend time around marine wildlife would do well to remember that you are a guest in their habitat. For their health and safety, as well as your own, it’s important to behave responsibly around them. Enjoy the opportunity you are afforded and remember that these are wild animals that deserve your care and respect.
It’s pretty cool to see oceanic animals in their natural habitat, but not all of them are safe for humans to be around. Read this next: Dangerous Animals to Watch Out For When Visiting Gulf Coast Beaches.