Bet you didn't know the reef at Millers is home to a bunch of sexual deviants? Impressively it's home to the animal that has the world's biggest d*ck? I kid you not. Barney the Barnacle is famous in the animal kingdom for having the biggest "appendage" to body size ratio in the entire animal kingdom.
The issue being that barnacles aren't big movers ay. They're what the scientists call "encrusters", which mean they attach themselves permanently to a hard area (like a rock) by means of a cement-like substance. And there they sit. Which obviously makes finding a chick a bit tricky. Mind you, these dudes are pretty new age, so they can be dudes one minute, chicks the next. Called hermaphrodites (extra point in the bio test there).
Anyhow, when they decide to be dudes, they have to just stick it out there looking for chicks seeing as they're stuck vas in one spot. Turns out they have appendages that are 8x their body length.
The dodgy behaviour of the reef dwellers doesn't stop there. Turns out most of the lil critters living on our reef can't decide which side they bat for, so they end up batting for both. Almost all of them are hermaphrodites, and just flip between being guys n gals as they please.
The sea cucumber, and the anemone join the barnacle in being swingers. The sea slug - or sea cucumber, is a gross looking thing that has some pretty awesome camo gear going on. You aren't going to spot him unless you looking real close.
He's called a Nudibranch (pronounced noo-dee-brank), meaning 'naked gills". Those found in the Indo-Pacific region are edible, but then again, our eastern mates eat pretty much anything. You'll see em on the menu as Beche-de-mer.
Now despite the reef doing it's best Golden Curtain impersonation, it still manages to throw up a legitimate surprise. Garth had lost his fin outta his twinnie on Sunday, which is annoying when a set of fins set you back nearly R700 smackeroos. Seeing as it was springs, we'd took a walk across the reef earlier in the morning, after our run, but spotted nothing.
It did give me the idea to come back down to the reef to shoot a few pics cos firstly it looked pretty interesting, and secondly I had a ton of work to do so it seemed like a good work avoidance exercise!
So an hour later, armed with my camera I was wandering across the reef when I spotted a rather odd looking anemone....which on closer inspection turned out to be part of his fin! It was wedged under a rock and covered with sand - but just enough sticking out so that I could spot it. Stoked! Guess the reef knows who it's locals are!