To someone scuba-diving or snorkeling in a coral reef, marine animals like corals and sponges look as motionless as plants: It can take hours or even days for any perceptible change to happen. But with the right camera, suddenly things are different. Australian photographer Daniel Stoupin made this mesmerizing clip of marine invertebrates in action, using over 150,000 different shots.
Stoupin writes on his blog:
“Slow” marine life is particularly mysterious. As colorful, bizarre-looking, and environmentally important as we know corals and sponges are, their simple day-to-day life is hidden…Time lapse cinematography reveals a whole different world full of hypnotic motion and my idea was to make coral reef life more spectacular and thus closer to our awareness.
It’s an amazing glimpse of something that may not be around that much longer: Ocean acidity and higher ocean temperatures from climate change, along with other human-caused problems like overfishing and pollution, mean that coral reefs and the animals inside them may be extinct by the end of the century.