Feed Me!

The Red Sea, Tiran, Egypt

Closeup of an anemone's mouth and luminous tentacles at Jackson Reef, Tiran Islands, in the Egyptian Red Sea.
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Touring Egypt 26: Everybody has seen an anemone. They are in oceans at all latitudes and aquariums everywhere. They are also everywhere in the Red Sea. Often, they are home to anemonefishes (Disney’s “Nemo”). They come in all shapes and colors, and often remind us of undersea flowers. For me, the thought brings to mind Audrey Junior, the entertaining carnivorous plant in the play “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Even though it seems pretty obvious, many people don’t realize that anemones have mouths. It is always found right at the center of the tentacles. We do not usually get a very good look, since anemones are quite adept at keeping their tentacles waving around in a very distracting and entertaining way. Sometimes there’s a fish covering up the mouth. But sometimes a lucky photographer comes across an anemone with a white mouth that will become more colorful and seem to glow when shot with a lucky placement of strobe lighting.

(Canon PowerShot G9 in Ikelite case with two Ikelite DS-125 strobes wired for TTL exposure, ISO 80, integrated lens at 10.7mm, f/3.2 at 1/60 sec. One strobe is placed below and to the side of the anemone, pointed directly through its mantle and tentacles, while the other strobe is placed to illuminate the top and mouth.)