Signs of the Holiday Season abound throughout the Caribbean in December with twinkling lights, Christmas trees, and brightly-colored decorations just about everywhere the eye can see…even underwater!
Okay, the lights and decorations aren’t really all that common, but as you can see in the image above, Christmas trees, or rather Christmas tree worms, most certainly are.
One of the more curious creatures you’re liable to come across on undersea adventures in the tropics, Christmas tree worms are crazy-colorful and uncommon in every way. Just check out this video by Vimeo user Frans de Backer showing one of ’em in action in Grand Cayman…
Their most distinctive feature, the conical crowns that give the worms their Holiday name, are actually extensions of their mouths, essentially functioning a bit like a spider’s web to ensnare unsuspecting prey and direct it to the worm’s mouth.
Despite the seasonal nature of their name, Christmas tree worms can be seen in reefs around the Caribbean year-round.
Seeing one right about now, though, would really be extra special, the experience alone no doubt proving to be a present unto itself…
*Lead photo credit: Flickr user Frank Starmer.