Divers Swim With Unique Marine Iguana Near The Galápagos Islands

Monday, April 04, 2016 |

Considering our planet is more water than land, it’s always fascinating to see the creatures hiding beneath the waves. You might find an adorable new buddy who’s happy to say hello, or witness the amazing way the various species can adapt to protect each other. For divers exploring the depths of the cold water surrounding the small Galápagos Islands, they found themselves face-to-face with a totally unique creature.

The marine iguana has a terrifying appearance, but the strange reptile is actually pretty harmless. If you find yourself put off by its looks, however, don’t worry — you’re not alone. Charles Darwin recorded his initial reaction to meeting the animals on his infamous trip to the islands, describing them as “disgusting” and “clumsy.” He also referred to them by the nickname “imps of darkness,” so it’s safe to say he wasn’t a fan.

Darwin was accurate in calling them clumsy, though. On land, their little legs waddle around the rocks. In contrast, they move with the utmost grace and agility while scouring for algae underwater. Their diet consists exclusively on the plant, and they often end up with white salt stains on their noses from chowing down.

Once they’ve gotten their fill, they head back up on land to warm up in the sun, essentially immobile from their time in the frigid waters. While it does put them at risk of predators, they’re definitely capable of defending themselves. I know I never want to pick a fight with one of these guys!

Share this unusual discovery with your friends!


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