Muck diving: What is it and why do people like it?

The Komodo National Park is famous for many reasons: 

  1. Manta Rays
  2. Currents 
  3. Stunning scenery 
  4. Schooling fish 
  5. Beautiful Corals
  6. Muck diving
  7. The list goes on....
(Check out our FAQs for more about this)

For many divers most things on this list are an obvious attraction - who doesn't want to encounter some of the most majestic creatures in the world, or drift by the most colourful and stunning reefs seen in tropical waters? But at number 6, a few people get stuck. Muck diving? What is this? Why would anyone want to look at muck? 

Muck diving, or Macro diving, is any dive where the main focus is looking for smaller things. The term 'Muck diving' refers to the type of dive site. ie - generally one with a sandy, silty mucky bottom. 'Macro diving' refers to the tiny little critters you see during the dive. 

At first this seems strange, but getting involved in macro diving opens up a whole new world underwater. At first, these dives may not seem like the most beautiful, they may not have the best visibility, but there are so many incredible things to discover! 

For example: 

This gorgeous looking Coleman Shrimp

This stunning picturesque dragonet 

These incredible ornate ghost pipefish

Why would I want to dive in Muck?! 

A soft coral or 'Candy crab' looks exactly like the soft corals it lives on
For many divers, the appeal in this diving lies in the challenge. Seeing sharks is always a thrill, but finding them is easy. They swim past you, you spot them. Generally, macro critters are masters of disguise and difficult to find - this is what so many people love.
Yes - it may not be pretty at first, but the incredible things you see will more than make up for it.

Another great thing about muck diving is the conditions of the site. For those of you a little worried about the currents of Komodo (which- by the way- you shouldn't be because  they are really fun and we know how to dive them to give you a great experience! More about that in another blog though) muck dive sites are perfect! There's loads to see and generally no current at all! They tend to have either a gentle slope or a flat bottoms, meaning you can get a little more used to your buoyancy. They are probably the most chilled out and relaxing dives you will ever do.

Worried about finding small things? Never fear - our eagled eye dive guides find the most amazing things with ease!

Speaking of buoyancy, does mine need to be good for these sites? 

With all diving we want to be comfortable in the water, but bad buoyancy on a sandy bottom can cause a few problems. However, don't worry, our experienced and friendly crew will give you some great tips to help you during the dive. If you're worried about coming closer to the sand, just place a hand on the shoulder of your dive guide and they will assist you in getting a closer look at whatever bizarre looking creature they've found for you.

But hang on a second, doesn't macro mean big?!

This Hairy squat lobster is the size if your fingernail,
 this shot was taken with a macro lens! 

Well, yes technically it does. However, this term has become popular due to the photography of these small animals. Photographers use a macro lens to take photos of teeny tiny critters. Macro = large magnification

So there you go, mystery solved!

Doesn't everyone want to see a seahorse?! Well the muck dive sites of Komodo are the perfect place to spot them!

You can see things that looks like they belong in outer space!

The Komodo National Park is incredibly diverse, and we want you guys to see all that is has to offer!

So give muck diving a chance, after all - you wouldn't be diving if you weren't open to broadening your horizons!

Big thanks to Bent Christensen for all the incredible photos!


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