You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Giant barracuda startles scuba diver on sunken Russian warship

This sunken Russian warship makes a spectacular place to scuba dive. Submerged in the Cayman Islands in 1996 for recreational diving, the World War II Russian gunship attracts diving enthusiasts, looking for underwater adventure. It's a good idea for tourism to submerge old ships, but it's even better for creating habitat for the ocean creatures. The irregular surfaces become home to corals, sponges, sea anemones, and barnacles, which in turn attract other wildlife such as fish. The smaller fish school around the corals and live in the shelter of the ship's hull. Amazingly, this ship has also created a food source for Hawksbill Sea Turtles that come to eat the sponges and the algae. The Hawksbill is a critically endangered turtle that can be found around this wreck. A scuba diver exploring this fascinating wreck got an unexpected treat when he rounded a corner at the base of the ship's rear gun turret. A Great Barracuda, measuring more than five feet in length came out from under the structure to meet him face to face. The barracuda is one of the top predators in these waters, and at this size, only a shark would pose a threat to it. Curious about the diver, and possibly acting territorial, this large fish swims close and gives him a close look at his impressive teeth. The scuba diver cannot out-swim the beast, and he has no interest in charging toward it. Instead, he chooses to keep the camera between himself and the barracuda and he remains still as he drifts along over the surface of the ship. Barracuda rarely attack humans. Unless provoked, or in the rare cases where a barracuda charged nearby fish and mistakenly bit a human, there have been no serious barracuda related injuries. That doesn't stop the scuba diver from being startled, however, by the sudden close pass and brazen fearlessness of this fish. Scuba diving is a thrilling sport that allows people to see incredible animals in their natural environment. A scuba diver is wise to remain respectful of the wildlife and it pays to remember that we are in their domain when we enter the water. Incorrect behavior in this realm can have immediate and serious consequences. Most creatures are both predator and prey in a delicate balance, and very few are without a means to defend themselves.
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon