X-Ray Mag #119

X-Ray Mag #119 cover
Coverphoto by Scott Bennett
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Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

X-Ray Mag contributors   X-Ray Mag contributors
Photo by Kate Joker

We asked our contrib­utors what their favorite images were, captured using ambient light only, and they came back with a diverse selection of photos featuring sublime underwater scenes from a variety of dives on reefs and wrecks, in caverns and cenotes, as well as with interactions with marine life. Here, X-Ray Mag contributors share their favorite images from the tropical waters of French Polynesia, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Egyptian Red Sea, Mozambique, Bonaire, the Bahamas, Mexico and the Galapagos Islands, to the temperate waters of South Africa, Newfoundland in Canada, the US East Coast and California.

Cristian Umili   Cristian Umili
Photo by Cristian Umili

When immersing ourselves in the underwater world, we experience a flood of emotions—both in relation to the depths and to being in an environment that is not our own, in which we can almost fly. But our encounters with marine life excite us even more, especially with sharks, dolphins and huge shoals of fish, but also small and colourful nudibranchs, or microscopic shrimps. Cristian Umili shares his insights and tips on how to capture emotions in underwater photographs.

Pascal Henaff   Pascal Henaff , Drawing by Herve Marsaud
Photo by Pascal Henaff

How did a late 19th-century ship from the Great Lakes region of the United States end up shipwrecked off the coast of France, in the Bay of Biscay? Pascal Henaff has the story and shares impressions from a dive on the wreck.

Scott Bennett   Scott Bennett
H. pontohi pygmy seahorse. Photo by Scott Bennett

When it comes to diving, Indonesia has no shortage of bucket-list worthy destinations, boasting some of the most biologically diverse tropical reefs and critter sites in the world. For the macro photographer, North Sulawesi’s Lembeh Strait is the proverbial Holy Grail. To the uninitiated, prowling a featureless expanse of sand may border on the unhinged, but critter enthusiasts will beg to differ, as Lembeh’s environs are home to a dizzying array of the weird and wonderful. Scott Bennett has the story.

Simon Pridmore   Steve Wolborsky , MJ Wolborsky
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Steve Wolborsky   Steve Wolborsky , MJ Wolborsky
The tiny Costasiella fridae, a relatively new classification. Photo by Steve Wolborsky

Muck diving on Guam was little known by divers until a few years ago when local residents started posting images online from muck dives. Simon Pridmore and Steve Wolborsky tell the tale.

Interview by G. Symes   Olivier Leger
Mothership, by Olivier Leger. Ink painting on gesso, 60 x 80cm

British artist and avid diver Olivier Leger creates large-scale fineliner pen drawings and colourful ink paintings that celebrate the diversity and interconnectedness of our blue planet, drawing attention to the threats the oceans face. In his highly intricate artworks, viewers will discover marine species such as octopuses, sea turtles and whales carrying living worlds on their backs, giving sanctuary to a diverse range of sea life. X-Ray Mag interviewed the artist to learn more about his creative process and perspectives on the underwater world.

Pierre Constant   Pierre Constant
Photo by Pierre Constant

This is a story about a “cave man” in paradise. OK, you smile, that is a good start, as this tale will certainly whet your appetite. Pierre Constant shares his adventure diving the caves of the Mikea Forest in South Madagascar.

Simon Pridmore   Kyo Liu
Sap-sucking slug, Green Island, Taiwan. Photo by Kyo Liu

Green Island is considered Taiwan’s diving heartland by local divers, and hence, it is an essential rite of passage to do a dive trip there. Now, divers from abroad are discovering the joys of its beautiful underwater realm. Simon Pridmore gives us an inside look.

Wesley Oosthuizen   Wesley Oosthuizen
Elysia cf. marginata. Photo by Wesley Oosthuizen

A vegetarian sap-sucking sea slug that can regrow its entire body? Underwater photographer Wesley Oosthuizen takes a closer look at this curious little marine critter.

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Other articles and news in this edition

Photo by Catherine GS Lim

The 2023 Malaysia International Dive Expo was a hit! Despite a last-minute change of venue, moving to the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur on 26-28 May, the show exceeded expectations. X-Ray Mag associate editor and regional representative in Asia, Catherine GS Lim, reports.

Fresh shark fins drying on sidewalk at Hong Kong

Brazilian authorities have confiscated nearly 30 tons of shark fins destined for Asia, in what they claim is the world’s largest seizure of its kind.

he UN’s 193 Member States adopted a landmark legally binding marine biodiversity agreement on Monday

The landmark accord will establish a legal framework to extend swathes of environmental protections to international waters.

While global warming is causing the loss of coral reefs globally, scientists believe that certain corals increase their tolerance to heat when the symbiotic algae communities they host change.

Scientists have discovered extensive, ancient deep-sea coral reefs in the Galápagos Marine Reserve. The reefs are found at a depth of 400-600 meters.

When it comes to paying for things abroad, currency choice "services," which offer credit cardholders the convenience of being charged in home currency rather than the local one, can be costly. A study revealed the fees charged for these transactions can be exorbitant.

British T class submarine HMS Triumph

The British submarine HMS Triumph, which disappeared without a trace in 1942, has finally been discovered on the bed of the Aegean Sea by Greek researcher Kostas Thoktaridis and his team.

This year, orcas off the coast of Spain and Portugal have seriously damaged leisure vessels and even sunk three boats and appear to be teaching others to do the same. But why?

The Royal Navy battleship HMS Prince of Wales coming in to moor at Singapore in 1941

The UK Ministry of Defence condemns the "desecration" of the battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battleship HMS Repulse, which were sunk off the coast of Malaysia in 1941.

USS Mannert L. Abele off the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, 1 August 1944

The US Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) confirms the identity of a wreck site off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, as World War II destroyer USS Mannert L. Abele (DD-733).

Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef.

Researchers have discovered bacteria closely related to chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection in humans, on the Great Barrier Reef, which may assist coral tackle the problem of coral bleaching.

This blue whale was encountered near the Channel Islands of California.

Ship operators in the Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies program voluntarily reduce their speed while transiting through critical whale feeding areas and near vulnerable coastal and port communities in California.

The first full-sized digital scan of the Titanic provides a unique 3D view of the entire ship, revealing the remains as they lay submerged at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean with a level of detail that has never been captured before.

Apristurus ovicorrugatus, a new species of deepwater catshark, is described from northwestern Australia. A team of ichthyologists has discovered the new species after identifying unique egg cases found in two Australian museums.

Male northern elephant seal

Northern elephant seals can sleep for less than two hours per day at sea and do so while diving to depths of around 300 metres. Unlike other marine mammals, they enter full REM sleep with accompanying paralysis, but do so at depths below those occupied by their predators.

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