Many scuba divers have encountered a moray eel underwater. They are truly beautiful creatures especially when they swim right past you. Seeing a moray eel swim underwater is like looking at a colourful silk scarf fly away in the wind. It’s truly spectacular to see. All this being said, do not underestimate the moray eel.
The moray eel can reach up to 4m in length. Yes you read that right! They can also weigh up to 30kg. For our American friends that’s 66 pounds. Moray eels are incredible predators. They move very quickly and can fit in tiny crevices to flush prey out. Believe it or not, a moray eel will tag team with a coral grouper and hunt together.
Who would have thought that a grouper and a moral eel would be hunting buddies. So here is how it works, the moray eel flushes the fish out of the tiny crevices in the reef and the grouper attacks. Interesting isn’t it!
There is one cool fact about moray eels that most people don’t know. A moray eel has two sets of jaws. One which is visible when you look at it and a second which is deep inside its mouth. The idea behind this is that the exterior jaw holds the pray in place while the interior jaw munches away. Wouldn’t it be cool for us to have that and not use our hands while eating. Did’t we say earlier that these creatures need to be respected!
Now lets talk about humans and moray eels. Moray eels are found in both tropical and temperate seas, although the largest are found at reefs in warm oceans. Some people might think that a moray eel is viscous. If you spend some time on YouTube, you will find videos of scuba divers holding a moray eel.
This might confuse you a little, so lets set the record straight. A moray eel will hide from humans in crevices and would rather flee than fight. These incredible creatures are shy and secretive, and attack humans only in self defence or mistaken identity. Hence as we said earlier, respect but don’t fear!
Our seas and oceans are truly spectacular places and those that have not visited them do not realise what they are missing. As you travel the world, make sure to spend time scuba diving and discovering what our seas and oceans have to offer. We truly admire the moray eel and encourage you to meet it in person underwater. Check out the amazing video below from National Geographic that will show you how skill full a moray eel is when it comes to hunting.