X-Ray Mag #124

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Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Matthew Meier   Matthew Meier
Photo by Matthew Meier

A Caribbean island nestled in the Leeward Antilles, warm and sunny Bonaire is a diver’s paradise with lots of shore diving and easy-to-reach fringing reefs, attracting divers at all levels who wish to explore and enjoy its beautiful reefs and marine life. Matthew Meier shares his adventure there.

Davide Marchetti   Courtesy of Davide Marchetti
Photo courtesy of Davide Marchetti

On 3 May 2023, Davide Marchetti broke a world record in cave diving. He did the longest swim in a cave. Here is his story.

John A. Ares   John A. Ares
Photo by John A. Ares

Got some old slides and negatives of underwater images that you wish you could revitalize and process in postproduction? John A. Ares describes in detail how one can convert film into digital files by using a DSLR camera and a macro lens.

Michael Salvarezza and Christopher P. Weaver   Michael Salvarezza and Christopher P. Weaver
Photo by Michael Salvarezza and Christopher P Weaver

In the waters of Malta, an island nation that sits in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, there are deep historical shipwrecks dating back to ancient times, to the First and Second World Wars, and up to the present day. Michael Salvarezza and Christopher P. Weaver share their exploration of some of Malta’s wrecks and reefs.

Edited by G. Symes  
© John Wood University of Malta

During an underwater cultural heritage mapping survey in Malta in 2007, researchers noticed an unusual feature in the sonar data. This anomaly stood out due to its size, shape, and the possibility of human-made objects. Further investigation confirmed the presence of an ancient 2,700-year-old shipwreck.

Brandi Mueller   Brandi Mueller
Photo by Brandi Mueller

The Egyptian Red Sea offers divers beautiful reefs with plentiful marine life as well as wrecks to explore and photograph. Brandi Mueller takes us on a liveaboard safari that starts in Hurghada.

X-Ray Mag contributors   X-Ray Mag contributors
Photo by Matthew Meier

We asked our contributors to share their favorite photos that show underwater seascapes, and they came back with a range of wide-angle shots, featuring a variety of marine life large and small.

Don Silcock   Don Silcock
Photo by Don Silcock

To be in the water with a southern right whale is a life-changing experience. Don Silcock shares his adventure in Argentina to photograph these majestic marine mammals, where he was lucky enough to see a rare white calf.

Simon Pridmore  
Composite by G Symes with image by Enrico Strocchi CC BY SA 2 DEED

In the first of a new two-part series, Simon Pridmore describes a few equipment-related problems that divers commonly encounter and offers some tips on how to avoid or deal with them.


Other articles and news in this edition

The 18th iteration of the Malaysia International Dive Expo (MIDE) in 2024 is set to captivate divers, businesses and water sports enthusiasts from around the world. Taking place 7-9 June 2024 at the Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre (MITEC) in Kuala Lumpur, this year’s theme, “Embracing the Ocean’s Majesty,” underscores the event’s significance.


Blue whales and fin whales can reproduce to create hybrids of the two species. Hidden DNA discovered in blue whales indicates they have been mating with other species, yielding hybrid offspring, as per a recent study published in Conservation Genetics.

Bali implements a tourist tax to preserve culture and environment, aiming to raise revenue for local arts and traditions.

Foto af Peter Symes

Reinvention and relocation are key to success and mark the beginning of a new era for the Scandinavian Dive Show.

Photo by Dr Andrea Marshall

In a new study, researchers at the Marine Megafauna Foundation, in collaboration with the Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary, have made a surprising discovery of the shape-shifting mimic octopus in Mozambique. For the first time, the mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus), a species previously undocumented in African waters, has been captured on camera, signifying a noteworthy range extension of about 4700km from the Red Sea.

Halcyon Manufacturing establises new European headquarters in Gdańsk, Poland.

François Libert CC BY NC SA 2 DEED

To discern friend from foe, clownfish count stripes. A recent study found that common clownfish displayed aggressive behaviour predominantly towards members of their own species with three white bands, engaging in confrontations lasting several seconds. In contrast, intruders of other species faced milder aggression.

In Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, a profound study unfolds, delving into the resilience of coral reefs facing climate change. Led by Katie Barott from the University of Pennsylvania, researchers embarked on a decade-long journey to understand how corals cope with rising ocean temperatures.

Reese's Law mandates critical safety standards for button and coin batteries in diving devices, marking a significant shift in consumer product safety.

Despite increased regulations and finning bans, a new study reveals that shark mortality rates have continued to rise globally, necessitating a reevaluation of current conservation strategies.

Komposit af P Symes. Kildebilleder - SDI, Kranich17 Pixabay

Scuba Diving International (SDI) has unveiled the SDI Elite Scuba Instructor recognition certification, addressing the demand for a rating positioned between SDI Open Water Scuba Instructor and Course Director.

Serena Stean CC BY NC 4 DEED

A recent study evaluates the evidence for dominance-subordination hierarchies in sharks. These are widely believed to dictate shark behaviour, though no remotely convincing demonstration of such hierarchies in any species of Chondrichthyan has been presented.  

Sippakorn Pixabay

In recent years, climate warming has exacerbated destructive wildfires worldwide, with projections indicating escalating environmental and economic damage in the future. While existing studies have primarily focused on the impacts of wildfires on land ecosystems, fresh research from the University of California San Diego and collaborating institutions reveals significant changes occurring in aquatic ecosystems due to wildfires.

Photo by Pauline Walsh Jacobson

Scientists have discovered that soft corals are the producers of a natural chemical with potential anti-cancer properties, after 25 years of search by drug hunters.

Photo by Vera Schlüssel University of Bonn CC BY

Researchers at the University of Bonn have made a surprising discovery: Stingrays and cichlids possess the ability to perform simple addition and subtraction within the number range of one to five.