Almost every jewelry store in Hawai‘i sells puka shell necklaces but very few people know where these puka shells come from! Hawaii is very unique because we have large surf that crashes directly onto our reefs and beaches grinding up corals and shells. This is what makes our beach sand so beautiful but it makes it very hard to find whole shells up on the beach.
This 20-inch-long, shallow-water parrot-fish helps make our beautiful beaches here in Hawai‘i.
This time of year when the surf starts to get smaller on the north shore of Oahu and Kauai we get a deep water visitor.
We have lots of strange creatures that live out on our coral reefs here in Hawaii but the Tiger Flatworm ranks as one of the most bizarre. This three inch long very colorful creature crawls across the reef during the day and is highly poisonous. It contains in its skin tetrodotoxin which is the same poison that our pufferfish have in their skin.
Most divers never see this huge 15 inch long marine snail except in the roadside shell stands.
Many of the Hawaiian fish species only live in Hawaii because the island chain is so isolated that many fish species evolved here and nowhere else in the Pacific Ocean. For a fish to get all the way to Hawaii its eggs must be able to float in currents from as far away as Tahiti or Guam so over millions of years Hawaii has a lot of beautiful reef fish but not as many as most other Pacific Islands.