Australia wakes up to the morning after the night before as one of nature's wildest shows of sex hits the Great Barrier Reef
And unabashed voyeurs turned out in droves to watch this incredibly rare event
GREAT BARRIER REEF, AUSTRALIA (NOVEMBER 21-24, 2013) (BIG PLANET MEDIA FOR TOURISM EVENTS QUEENSLAND) - Sunday, November 24, 2013: The final leg of a massive marathon sex session ended tonight as millions of boulders of egg and sperm exploded on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef for the annual coral spawning season.
Marine scientists believe this year's November 21 to 24 event was one of the best in years thanks to near perfect sea temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius and a late November full moon, which reduced tidal flow and allowed the eggs to float away in calmer waters.
Two Cairns based dive operators, Tusa Dive and Quicksilver, ran special night time tours for a couple of hundred lucky divers flying in from all corners of the globe.
Richard Fitzpatrick, Emmy award-winning underwater cinematographer was fortunate enough to be on Quicksilver's Silverswift and said it was extraordinarily unusual to see something that's an annual event and that goes for only a couple of days.
"So to be in the right place at the right time is a great thing. It is literally the greatest sex show on earth," he said.
"(Tonight) We got to see the coral spawning which is the annual event where all the eggs and sperm are released up into the water. It's an amazing sight. It's like an underwater snow storm, but backwards, going up. It's really weird, it's awesome."
Sheree Marris, a marine scientist also on Quicksilver's Silverswift vessel said lots of coral were starting to spawn during her dive.
"It's like this synchronized orgasm … like fairy dust going up in the water. It was amazing (and) I feel incredibly lucky to actually see (it) because a lot of people would have never seen it before."
Coral spawning requires almost perfect tides, ideal weather and top temperatures to happen. It also occurs at night while the plankton feeders are asleep. When a big boulder coral goes off, it releases an underwater snow storm and hundreds of bundles float to the surface.
And it's not hard to spot. There's a slick on the surface and a pungent smell in the air.
Meanwhile the fish life sit on the bottom of the reef with distended stomachs from eating the eggs.
It is like they have stuffed themselves with Tim Tams (Aussie cookies) or chocolate cupcakes.
For more information on Coral Spawning Tours go to
www.silverseries.com.au / http://www.silverseries.com.au / www.divethereef.com/DiveTrips/-2069233108.asp / http://www.divethereef.com/DiveTrips/-2069233108.asp
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