Video series: Take a Minute

In this video series, we invite you to “Take a Minute” to relax and refresh your mind and soul with visual meditation. Take a 1-minute break from whatever you are doing to immerse yourself in the beauty of our blue planet. For this minute, Yoeri selects one long shot to allow you to fully focus on one creature, cultural site, land- or seascape. Dive into the scene, feel the energy, open your heart, connect to the subject, look for details or simply get carried away!

Be here now. Take this one minute to fully be there, instead of analysing the past or planning the future. It is quite interesting to see how long and relaxing one minute can be as soon as we stay in that moment - fully aware, fully present, fully relaxed. Observing one long scene, in contrary to the bombardment of pictures, news and fast cuts we are getting on a daily basis, helps to calm us down, to ground and centre us. Sometimes all it takes is 1 minute to recharge.

We start off with an underwater reef shot because diving is our form of active meditation. Underwater we find happiness in the present moment. There are so many healing and soothing factors to the ocean. There is so much we love about diving and nature.

We will get to that. For now, enjoy!

Video gallery of the entire clip collection

Further down seperate clips with full descriptions - have it your way.

Take a Minute I: Reef top with batfish (Platax)
Voriges 1 von 1 Nächstes
Voriges 1 von 1 Nächstes

Single video clips with full descriptions

Take a Minute to Relax I

This shallow and sheltered part of the reef is perfect to start or or end a dive. Take a minute to let your eyes wander over the healthy and abundant corals. Gently moving closer to examine a group a Batfish (Platax) hanging out in one corner of the reef - simply taking their time to relax. Over the years we saw members this group of Batfish (also called Spadefish) growing up. So beautiful to continuously be one with nature - diving rules. So wonderful to see the positive impact of protected marine areas in Wakatobi.

Enjoy Sulawesi Splendour for more beautiful underwater videography.

Take a Minute to Relax II

We happily present our second clip of“Take a Minute”, a series of short films created to relax and refresh your mind and soul with visual meditation (longer description below). This 1-minute clip is featuring a nudibranch, an underwater sea slug, called Coryphellina rubrolineata. Take a Minute to look at all the beautiful details on this creature and how it eats this hydroid. Can you see the bite it took passing through the digestive tract?

We tell ourselves to be mindful, even when doing regular things in life, like eating. However, truly living in the moment, becomes so much easier underwater, not only is the marine life right there and then, but also we are more focused and aware of ourselves and our bodies. All our worries and (self-)doubts stay at the surface and hopefully you'll take your time to look and really observe the world around you. The overall picture (like the video clip two weeks ago: Take a Minute I) invites you to dream away. Details, like of this nudibranch, really lure you into the scene. Observing creatures and their behaviour is beautiful and relaxing in itself, but it becomes even more rewarding when we know their names and understand what they are doing.

The characteristic of aeolid nudibranchs like this Coryphellina rubrolineata are long, narrow bodies with numerous horn-like extension which are called cerata and serve as gills of these sea slugs. Nudibranch originates from the Latin word nudus meaning naked and Ancient Greek bránkhia for gills as nudibranchs have their gills exposed on their backs. The form of the cerata extends the surface for respiration (breathing) significantly, but the cerata is also used for defence. Like shown in this clip many aeolid nudibranchs feed on hydroids and their stinging cells (nematocysts) pass through the digestive system of some aeolids unharmed and are built into the tips of the cerata.

For more weird and wonderful clips, pictures and information on nudibranchs visit our website and take a look at the entry “Nudibranchs: Everybody’s darling” or watch more of the underwater clips Yoeri filmed for Devocean Pictures in the section videography or on our YouTube Channel.

Take a Minute to Relax III

It’s time to to relax again, and “Take a Minute” with the third clip of our series for visual meditation (longer description below). This 1-minute film is a visual treat on multiple levels. Beautifully captured, you can focus on the eyes of a purple-blotched mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus latirostris) and slowly discover more and more of this fascinating marine creature while the camera is zooming out.

Take a Minute to look deep into the eyes of this juvenile mantis shrimp. Mantis shrimps have the most complex eyes and visual system so far discovered in the animal kingdom. It’s almost like they can look into another dimension. 😉

The eyes on long stalks can be moved individually resulting in almost 360°view. Each eye can gauge depth and distance on its own by focusing on objects with three separate regions (trinocular vision). While human eyes have three types of photoreceptor cells, they have between 12 and 16 types. Mantis shrimp can perceive wavelengths of light ranging from deep ultraviolet (UVB) to far-red (300 to 720 nm), including fluorescent and polarized light.

This creature does not only amaze divers and photographers alike, but also scientists and engineers as they are learning more about the way these eyes function:

“Six species of mantis shrimp have been reported to be able to detect circularly polarized light, which has not been documented in any other animal, and whether it is present across all species is unknown. Some of their biological quarter-waveplates perform more uniformly over the visual spectrum than any current man-made polarising optics, and this could inspire new types of optical media that would outperform the current generation of Blu-ray Disc technology.” Wikipedia: Mantis shrimp

This juvenile purple-blotched mantis shrimp is a smasher. With their two raptorial appendages or clubs they can punch with the speed of a gunshot from a .22 calibre rifle. This rapid strike generates vapour-filled bubbles in the water between the appendage and the striking surface, called cavitation bubbles. These bubbles collapse and produce a measurable second hit after the instant forces of 1,500 newtons of the punch itself. Even if the initial blow misses the target, the shock wave of the collapsing cavitation bubble can be strong enough to stun or kill the prey.

This sequence was filmed in February 2020. We found this stunning critter in the bay of Amed on Bali (Indonesia). More to come! So please visit our channel and subscribe. Thank you!

Take a Minute to Relax IV

It’s time to “Take a Minute” again and to broaden the perspective on (marine) life with some visual meditation. Get into the groove and swing with this relaxed colony of garden eels. Unfortunately, worries and anxieties are on the rise. We do believe that nature is a beautiful way to calm the body and mind and nourish the soul. Luckily, in most countries, you are still allowed to leave the house for a walk in the woods. Our equivalent is a night dive tonight and, same as watching these garden eels dance, it will put a smile on our faces.

Garden eels (Heteroconger) are in favour of a sessile lifestyle. They only get out of their house to change over to another burrow. Anchored in their holes in the sand they live in colonies. In calm waters they go about their business, moving in any direction they like. The stronger the current the more the are forced to follow the same approach to conserve energy: Face into current and form their bodies into a question mark. As you can see we had a pretty relaxed end of the dive at the Liberty wreck in Tulamben, Bali (Indonesia), in February 2020.

If you can’t get into nature yourself, watch some more of our underwater clips, nature documentaries or put on some music to sing and dance your troubles away. After home office make time for some home disco! There is an added bonus to both of these approaches. Hopefully they put a smile on your face. A psychological study has shown that holding a smile during brief and acute periods of stress helps to reduce the body’s stress response, such as a higher heartbeat. For this effect to work the person doesn’t even have to feel happy, though we truly hope smiling in times of social distance actually contributes to everybody’s health and happiness. And the best: Smiling is contagious!

Take a Minute to Relax V

In this edition of the visual meditation sessions "Take a Minute", we would like to focus your attention on the skeleton shrimp. Although commonly named that way, they are in fact no shrimps at all. Caprellidae, as is their actual scientific name, are a Family within the Order of amphipods. Caprellids are easily distinguishable from other amphipods by their slender, elongated bodies, which allows them to virtually blend into their habitat consisting of fine filaments of seaweed, hydroids and bryozoans. With this ability, they also earned the nick name of "ghost shrimp". They are omnivores that often like to stand upright to catch their food floating by in the current, whilst anchoring themselves to something with 3 pairs of appendages, named pereopods. Most Caprellids are sexually dimorphic, with the males usually being far larger than the females.

In this particular shot, we see a male giving a "piggyback ride" to a female. They are about 2 cm in size. We thought this "uplifting" behaviour to be perhaps an example for us all during this difficult time, showing us that we should stand by, and help each other to get through this current situation ...

Take a Minute to Relax VI

In this visual meditation session of “Take a Minute”, we invite you to have a look at this “giant” among the little fellows. The Costasiella kuroshimae is a species of opisthobranch that is categorized as a sacoglossan sea slug, or sap sucking slug, due to its feeding behaviour. They can be found “grazing” on algae leaves, which earned them the nick name “Leaf Sheep”. Although most people these days know this creature under the name “Shaun the Sheep”, due to the uncanny likeness in “facial” expressions to the famous TV animation character. It is this adorable likeness that makes them one of the most famous nudibranchs today. This big superstar can grow up to a whopping 5 mm in size! So in order to fully enjoy an encounter with this aquatic “Shaun the Sheep”, one is advised to bring a magnifying glass. Otherwise one might be left with the same blank “Shaun the Sheep” expression on one’s face, when a dive guide points happily to a greenish speck on a leaf of algae. This tiny creature has the ability to extract the chloroplasts from the food it eats, and store them in its appendages, also known as cerata. This process is called kleptoplasty, and it enables “Shaun” to harvest/feed of the energy that is released by the photosynthesis of these accumulated chloroplasts . Pretty clever way to go about it, as you’re never really sure when the next meal will be!

In this clip we see that the life of a superstar is far from easy. Since they usually live in shallow waters, there is a real chance that water conditions, like waves, currents, or surge, might quite literally throw them of their game …

Take a Minute to Relax VII

In this episode of visual meditation, we take you for a minute long swim over a healthy reef, with an abundance in marine life. Coral reefs make up less than 1% of the ocean's floor, yet are home to more than 25% of all marine life. The oceans depend on healthy coral reefs for its inhabitants, but so do we ... Coral reefs protect the land above the surface from the full force of the oceans. So, by protecting the reefs, we are in fact protecting ourselves! Enjoy the energy of a healthy reef, and the feeling of weightlessness ...

Take a Minute to Relax VIII

The setting of this episode of visual meditation, is the Liberty Wreck in Bali. Here on a cloudy day in February, a Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) indifferently passes by, in search of food. She has learned over time that divers pose no threat to her, and comfortably swims around. Unfortunately, like all other sea turtles, the Hawksbill is an endangered species. Many of them drown when stuck in ghost nets, or other plastic rubbish. Although increased boat traffic, as well as human encroachment on their nesting beaches, aren't helping much either...

The Hawksbill is rather aptly named, since it has a very pronounced beak resembling that of the bird of prey. An easy way to distinguish between the sexes, is the size of their "tail". When it's large it's a male, and when it's short it's a female. In this (butt)shot, it's quite easy to determine the sex of this particular Hawksbill. On top of that, during these complicated times it's nice to watch a sea turtle's butt for a while! 🙂

Take a Minute to Relax IX

In this episode of underwater meditation, we would like to introduce you to a creature whose scientific name does it much more justice than the common names it goes by. Known by divers and snorkellers as a Seamoth, Pegasus, or Dragonfish, its scientific name has it all: Eurypegasus draconis. The Greek word "eury" meaning long, "pegasus" after the legendary winged horse, and the Latin word "draconis" meaning dragon. This beautiful little critter is an ancient relative of the seahorse, and it too has an exoskeleton made of interlocking bony plates. They're actually able to change the colour of their suit of armour to better blend into their environment. Interestingly, unlike many other fish, this creature sheds its scales all in one go, leaving a cast much like a snake or crustacean. This is done as often as every 5 days, and is believed to be linked to achieving the perfect camouflage for this bottom-dwelling fish.

It has a short squat body with a tail roughly the size of its upper body. It also possesses beautiful wing-like pectoral fins, which it uses to crawl along the seafloor with. Although, when one looks closer, one can see that it also has 2 adapted anal fins that are the main contributing source of its movement. Another distinguishing feature is its long rostrum, or snout, with which it can dig in the sand to find food. The mouth of this creature is actually underneath the rostrum, rather than on the tip of it.
Eurypegasus draconis mate for life, and can therefore often be found roaming the seabed together. Unlike its distant relative the seahorse, they are broadcast spawners. This means they glide up to about 50cm of the bottom in a dance like display, with their undersides pressed closely together, to release their eggs and sperm in the water column where they can mix freely before drifting away. It is the weird and wonderful creatures, like the Eurypegasus draconis, that make diving, and in fact life itself, such an interesting experience!

Take a Minute to Relax X

In this 10th episode of visual meditation, we'd like to introduce you to the elegant squat lobster (Allogalathea elegans). This curious creature is actually closer related to hermit crabs than to lobsters, as the name might suggest. It lives in a symbiotic relationship with crinoids (featherstars), and are therefore also known as Crinoid Squat Lobsters.
Crinoids themselves are often mistaken by divers and snorkellers as being a plant. They are in fact animals classified as "Echinoderms", members of the phylum Echinodermata, which roughly translated means "spiny skin", and includes seastars, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins. The elegant squat lobsters find protection from predators in the arms of the crinoid. They can live without the crinoid, however, its life expectancy would be a lot shorter.

So, understandably they like to stay with their hosts. To further increase their chances of survival, they adapt their colour to that of their hosts, making it even harder for potential predators to spot them. The elegant squad lobster, as well as its host the crinoid, both feed on the same plankton diet. Another great benefit for the squat lobster, since its host will always try to find the best place possible to catch food in the passing currents.
Females are larger than their male counterparts and can grow to about 2.5 cm. This gorgeous little creature can be found in the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea. So, good luck finding them next time you're in the ocean!

Take a Minute to Relax XI

In this episode of visual meditation, we invite you to fly with us over a beautiful coral reef. As mentioned before in “Take a Minute VII”, healthy coral reefs play a vital role in the overall condition of the oceans at large. However, senseless destruction, fuelled by ignorance and greed, has left the majority of reefs worldwide dead or dying.

Fortunately, there are some that have understood the value of coral reefs and have started projects to protect them. But protecting the reefs is difficult without the support of the local communities. Many of the richest reef systems on this planet are located in regions where people are most dependent on the ocean and reefs for their food. Unlike the fishing industry, these people are not so much fishing for profit, as they are for survival.

It is therefore not an easy task to start a conservation project and to make it understood to the local population that it would be in their best interest to participate. After all, most of the time there are no immediate results for them to profit from. Understanding that inhabitants of a region have to profit more directly from such conservation efforts, has led Lorenz Mäder (owner/founder of Wakatobi Dive Resort), together with the population of Tomia and Lintea islands in the region of Wakatobi, to come up with the “Collaborative Reef Protection Program”.

With this program, the resort basically leases the use of the reefs of the local villages, and pays them fees/financial aid, under the condition that destructive fishing practices are no longer permitted. Restrictions on how and where one can fish, as well as agreements on particular “No Take” zones, are also included in this program. To make sure these agreements are adhered to, the reefs are “patrolled” by the boats of the resort, as well as by boats from the local communities (Patroli).

The program doesn’t end there. Besides the sustainable income to the local villages in the form of these “lease” fees, Wakatobi Dive Resort also provides electricity, helps with education projects, provides infrastructure, supplies the local hospital with necessities when needed, but most importantly the resort provides over 200 local people with a job! This is a place where jobs are hard to find, or come by. This program has led to a sort of mutually beneficial symbiosis (Mutualism) between the Wakatobi Dive Resort and the surrounding villages on Tomia and Lintea, whereby both profit from this “Collaborative Reef Protection Program”.

For the people of the region, there’s a steady sustainable income, as well as the before mentioned benefits. But because of the reef protection efforts, there is an increasing amount of fish, and in larger sizes. This means that it has become much easier for the population to catch the fish needed to support their families. All of this has led to a higher standard of living for the villagers on these islands and made the people believe that conservation is more profitable than destruction.

On the other hand, the resort benefits from this arrangement as well. The reefs around Tomia and Lintea, as well as the Sawa reef system, are a sight to behold! Kilometre after kilometre of unspoiled reefs with a mind-blowing abundance of marine life. That combined with an impeccable service, Wakatobi Dive Resort draws in people from all over the world. And even though the resort can most definitely not be described as a budget destination, the number of repeat guests is very high. Which is of course great news for all that are a part of this “symbiosis”.

But the resort takes its conservation efforts a step further. Apart from installing/maintaining moorings for their dive operations, as well as regular reef monitoring and cleaning when needed, the resort also treats its wastewater in biological ways, to prevent nutrients from entering the ocean. But most of all, and this is something that is often overlooked in other dive operations, it implements strict rules to minimise diver impact. All guests have to agree to the resort’s dive conduct regulations during their diving activities, and failure to comply can lead to exclusion from diving without a refund. In our opinion, this is a vital step in reef conservation, because the dive industry is responsible for a large part in the destruction of reefs worldwide, through its unregulated tourism.

The “Collaborative Reef Protection Program” has been a great success, and now has over 30 km of reef under its protection. The reef systems around Wakatobi Dive Resort are one of the few places in the world where the quality and diversity of the reefs, that are already stunning, are actually getting better by the year! A great example of how conservation can, and perhaps should be done, on a larger scale. After all, conservation is only possible if everybody profits from it.