Alexander Semenov, an underwater photographer with Aquatilis, has shared some breathtaking 4K footage of a variety of sea creatures observed during a series of night dives in the Mediterranean Sea near Poza Island, Italy.
The video, spotted by Laughing Squid and originally uploaded in 2019, was captured using a Panasonic Lumix GH5 in a Subal underwater housing. Using this setup, Semenov and the rest of his team were able to capture incredibly detailed views of these creatures in their natural habitat.
Despite the pandemic, Semenov’s team continued to work in the sea with dives nearly every night in order to film and complete the documentary project. The project was initially supposed to be only three weeks, but turned into one lasting well over three months of daily dives according to PetaPixel’s last communication with the team.
One of the creatures captured on these dives is reminiscent of the aliens in the 1989 film The Abyss, where the little amphipods live in “barrels” made of tunicates that they scrub and polish out, using it like it’s very own submarine.
In another video shared by the team, the lights on their cameras drew the attention of several thousand planktonic polychaetes (from the Alciopidae family) worms that they say is a very rare experience and another “cool fact in our piggy bank of scientific knowledge.” They had witnessed the species several times but never in such a massive gathering making it so special.
“The nightlife of the Mediterranean sea is truly spectacular,” says Semenov “You can study it for years and every time you will encounter new creatures and discover new things. Meanwhile, we dive at only a few spots around one small island in Italy. It’s hard to imagine how many different things float in the huge volume left!”
While these videos may not be appealing to everyone, they show that there is a wildly diverse and surprisingly active nightlife happening in the seas all around us and we are lucky to have people like Semenov capturing it all for the rest of us to view.
For those interested, more stunning underwater videos from the Aqatilis team can be found on their YouTube Channel.