ABOUT

Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last 12 years documenting life above and below water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution documenting new Caribbean deep-water species and building a one of a kind database. His underwater images can regularly be seen in Sport Diver, Scuba Diver and on the Ikelite website. His image of a "Collage of Corals" seen under blue-light at night recently placed in the TOP 10 images for the 2014 NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) photo contest.

General

Jun 19, 17     Comments Off on Deep Sea Crab found by Smithsonian Scientists

Good morning, I have another wild looking deep-sea crab for you all this morning found by our favorite scientists from the world famous Smithsonian Institution in Washington. The red you see under the belly could be eggs but don’t quote me on that, I just remember hearing that in the lab as everyone was watching observing her. This crab was close to 6 inches wide and most likely even longer with those crazy claws extended. Most of you already know my love for any and all crabs which must come from the insane amount of hours spend either underwater or with the Smithsonian observing them, they are so cool and they come in every shape and size one can imagine.

Sorry so short, I’m so busy with so many weird things these days, have a great day out there..

Barry

Jun 16, 17     Comments Off on Deep Sea Squirrelfish, Squirrelfish sp. Holocentridae

Hi friends, I have one beautiful squirrelfish for you all today found on the last day of operations on our recent trip to St. Eustatius. This colorful little treasure was about three inches in length and I remember Smithsonian being super excited because of this strange color pattern you see above. These fish have such a wonderful relaxed disposition and like I said earlier this week spend their days from the safety of their homes watching the reef go by, they are for the most part very cautious fish.

Have a great weekend…

Barry

Jun 15, 17     Comments Off on Octopus, Deep-Sea Octopus, New Smithsonian Finds

Good morning, sorry about the text this morning, I’m having a weird formatting issue making me hate Word Press even more at this point..
I have four beautiful deep-sea octopus for you this morning all found in the Caribbean, many found living in discarded bottles and all found by the Smithsonian Institution and Substation Curacao. Some of these are tiny and I guess they would have to be if they were living inside an bottle. Scientists from the Smithsonian now believe that these small octopus grab little hermit crabs and carry them back to their private bottle homes were they can eat without being disturbed that is unless a 2.5 million dollar submersible happens to pass by. Also many of these amazing creatures were found at or around the 850 foot mark so many of these you see here could be new species, we will again have to wait and see what the Smithsonian scientists come up with as far as DNA goes.
I am running late for a long mtb ride, talk to again soon…
Barry
Jun 14, 17     Comments Off on Varicus cephalocellatus, Deep-Sea Goby, Tiny Reef Fish

I have a tiny one inch or less Varicus cephalocellatus, goby for you all today found by our world renowned scientists from the Smithsonian Institution using a deep sea submersible from Substation Curacao (yes where I used to work). For any ichthyologist finding these deep sea fish is about as good as it gets and from what I have observed working with the Smithsonian, finding new species of gobies is better than finding a ship full of gold! When these fish get brought up and are actually seen for the first time there is yelling and excitement in the air not to mention an occasional high-five for a job well done and for finding a possible new species of fish. I have to say, anyone who ever said “scientists are boring” hasn’t met the group from the Smithsonian Institution, they are anything but boring and when their not holding a fish they are out doing something else fun.

Have a great day..

Barry

Jun 12, 17     Comments Off on Squirrelfish, Sargocentron sp. Small Deep-Sea Fish

Good morning out there, I hope you all had a great weekend and went out and did something fun.

I have a small, three inch Sargocentron sp. or squirrelfish for you today once again found on our last expedition to St. Eustatius, which is a super tiny island in the Caribbean. Remember we talked about the “sp.” which means “species’ meaning it may or may not be a new species from this family, we all have to sit tight and wait for a little DNA to come back before we all know for sure. Squirrelfish tend to spend their days hanging out in the shadows or under reef overhangs minding their own business and become more active at night. They feed on shrimps and crabs and tend to be in small groups and are for sure a very common reef-fish. I remember my wife’s sister coming down to Curacao one year for some diving and upon exiting the water she excitedly proclaimed “her hands down favorite fish she saw was the big eye squirrelfish”, I think that was the first time I ever remember anyone saying that was their favorite fish, I guess squirrelfish need love too!

Cheers..

Barry

Jun 9, 17     Comments Off on Deep-Sea Crabs, Deep-Sea Invertebrates, Crabs

Good morning, I have a cool little crab (about 2 inches wide) from the recent Statia expedition found with a deep-sea submersible by scientists from the Smithsonian Institution and Substation Curacao. Crabs are not always easy to photograph! This one here kept burying himself in the sand with just his or her eyes showing, so finally I gave up and covered the sand with shells giving this little guy no options other than to just sit there and smile for the camera. I’m guessing that this is some kind of swimming crab but again once I get a positive ID I will update these blogs.

Have a great day out there..

Barry

Jun 7, 17     Comments Off on Rison ruber, Odd Looking Fish, Small Deep-Sea Fish

Hi all, I believe this is a sponge loving goby of sorts and I’m working on more info for you, stay tuned…

Jun 6, 17     Comments Off on Sphoeroides dorsalis, Deep-Sea Puffers, Rare Fish

Hi friends, I have a little two inch Sphoeroides dorsalis for you all today which is super similar to the shallow water bandtail puffer that I have sent you all more than once. Unlike the bandtail this guy is found very deep, it’s smaller and is much more colorful than it’s shallow swimming cousin. The bandtails were also very grumpy and hated to be photographed much like this little treasure who was very uncooperative from the start making this photo super hard to take. This was once again found miles off the coast of St. Eustatius in the Caribbean by the Smithsonian Institution using a deep-sea submersible from Substation Curacao.

Sorry so short…

Barry

Jun 4, 17     Comments Off on STINAPA House Reef, St. Eustatius Underwater Photos

Good morning, I have a few underwater reef shots from a little island in the Caribbean that is currently not at the top of any “Top” dive destinations list, but maybe it should be! I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the underwater world in little o’l St. Eustatius and granted I didn’t get to dive a lot but what I saw made me wish I could have seen more. ALL diving on Statia must be done through one of the two or three dive shops, there are no exceptions to this rule, it’s for sure not Bonaire. Many of the reefs here are far off shore, we went to the “Valley of the Sponges” which was close to two miles straight out from the harbor and although your jumping off into rough seas the reef under was quite beautiful. Above are photos from the STINAPA house reef which is located in calmer waters and much closer to shore but again you will need to hire a dive operation to take you out there. Also like many other Caribbean countries you must purchase a $30 STINAPA reef tag before you dive as well which is available at the dive shops or the STINAPA office located near the harbor. I have to say this little dive spot had more creatures and fish, sponges and corals then I had seen on any dive site in Curacao, it was just a small reef area but completely packed with life meaning my camera was on fire and we were all out of air before we knew it!

Busy day ahead…

Barry

Jun 1, 17     Comments Off on Liopropoma mowbrayi, Cave Bass, Cave Basslet

Good morning, I’m having one of those can’t catch up, too much to do weeks and like always these blogs tend to suffer. If you ever see just a photo and no text like yesterday you know I am busy..

This is one of the many super small, colorful, deep-sea basses that high end aquarium collectors go crazy for, this one is called a cave bass or Liopropoma mowbrayi. When I say small, I’m talking around three inches in length and NO these are not babies or juveniles they are in fact full grown adults. These little sea-bass or basslets come in a wide range of beautiful colors and are very reclusive making them very hard to find. Like the full grown sea-bass they eat just about whatever they can find or catch like shrimps, crabs and smaller fish, they are truly amazing hunters! This was another in the long list of finds from St. Eustatius collected by the Smithsonian Institution using a deep-sea submersible from Substation Curacao.

I am sorry but I have to run, be back tomorrow…

Barry

May 31, 17     Comments Off on Tiny, Deep-Sea Gobies, Pinnichthys sp. Deep Goby

May 30, 17     Comments Off on RARE, Deep-Sea Scorpionfish, Scorpaena sp, Expeditions

Good morning out there, if your like us your recovering from a long but fun Memorial day weekend. We ate like kings, did a bunch of fun hikes with the dogs, went mountain biking with friends, roller-blading and on and on, wiped out!

I have a tiny inch and a half scorpionfish for you all today found by our science friends at  this little museum called the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, maybe you heard of it?? Over the years I have seen so many different species of rare, deep-sea scorpaena sp. come up from the deep and if you all remember one of these species was even named after yours truly, that little fish can be seen by clicking on the link found on the front of my home page. Scorpionfish for those of you new to this are “ambush hunters” meaning they find a place to hide and will lay there motionless for hours upon hours waiting for some poor little fish, shrimp or crab to pass by. Most scorpionfish also called rockfish blend in with their surroundings so well that even a diver can not see them mostly because they are covered in algae or change their colors to look like the surroundings, this one here on the other hand is about as bright as they come and apparently feels there’s no need to wear camo when out fishing. This was another amazing find from the deep-sea found by a submersible and collected by the Smithsonian off a little Caribbean island called St. Eustatius.

Have a wonderful day..

Barry

May 26, 17     Comments Off on Bathyanthias sp, Small Deep Sea Fish, Submersibles

Good morning out there, I am completely wiped out this morning after doing two big mountain bike rides, one in the morning and one in the evening, combined that’s around four hours worth of hard pedaling.

So today I have a little three inch long Bathyanthias sp for today, the “sp.” means this could again be a new species and until our favorite Smithsonian scientists do DNA work they really don’t know. These creatures and fish I post are super rare and most have either only been found dead or are not know yet at all because of the insane depth they come from. Take this guy above for instance , put Bathyanthias sp in your GOOGLE search and very little will come up, why you ask?? Because it’s fairly new to science or it’s just plain never been found before, this is why I love working for the Smithsonian Institution. I believe this is a species of sea-bass if I remember correctly but don’t quote me on that or anything else for that matter.

Have yourself a wonderful weekend, I will get more stuff ready for you to see by Monday, I promise.

Cheers. Barry

 

May 25, 17     Comments Off on Decodon puellaris, Deep-Sea Hogfish, Colorful Fish

Here’s a WOWZERS fish for you all this morning called a Decodon puellaris or a deep-sea red hogfish and this is the juvenile of that species. When older this crazy colorful little fish will loose a lot of these colors and markings and turn a dark orange or reddish color, still beautiful but nothing like his or her baby colors. For those of you wondering about size, this one here is about three inches in length. These fish are incredible little hunters and love brittle stars, crabs, shrimps and urchins, in fact it’s fish like this that keep most of the invertebrates hidden on the reef most of the day. On many occasions I have seen these fish picking on and trying to eat hermit crabs as well, they are true reef bullies and not as nice as they appear to be. This was another in the long list of cool finds from St. Eustatius a few weeks ago found by the Smithsonian and Substation Curacao.

have a great day!

Barry

May 24, 17     Comments Off on Juvenile Prognathodes aculeaths, Deep-Sea Butterflyfish

Good morning all, I have a super tiny, (about the size of a dime), deep-sea butterflyfish for you all today called a Prognathodes aculeaths. For years the Smithsonian and Substation Curacao have collected the adult sized butterflyfish from the deep using a submersible but this is the first baby or juvenile I had ever seen or photographed. From Wikipedia I found this little blurb;

Longsnout butterflyfish are much more solitary than many other members of their family. They also inhabit deeper reefs and spend much of their time foraging in recesses for invertebrates. It is also known to eat the tube feet of sea urchins and tube worm tentacles. Unlike many other members of its family, the longsnout butterflyfish does not pick parasites from other fish.

I hope you all are having a great week out there, mine has been so busy!!

Cheers, Barry

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