These underwater timelapses boost corals to normal speeds (VIDEO)


posted Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 2:42 PM EDT


We might not really think of it as such, but coral is very much alive. And, while you might not notice when scuba diving, it's also very much in motion. It's just that it's going so slow, most of us wouldn't be able to tell. But that's where Dr Pim Bongaerts' Coral Timelapse program comes in, a series of wonderful videos that are shot over long enough periods of time where you can see the corals interact and move.

Mutch of Bongaerts' work is shot with aquariums, using what looks to be a Canon G-series camera, at least based on this interview with the BBC. By shooting in the lab, it's possible to capture the corals reacting to specific stimuli, and gain a better understanding of how these invertebrates interact. You can even see two of them locked in a fierce battle over territory.

Bongaerts is also working on cameras that can be autonomously deployed underwater for several months at a time, allowing him to record over a much greater time period, so that even larger changes and movements can be recorded. All of which gives scientists a long term view of very slow moving creatures.

A number of the Coral Timelapse videos are also up on YouTube, so you can see more of the corals in action.