Online Snorkel Trips
WANT TO SNORKEL?!
WHAT'S A CORAL REEF?
NOAA's Florida Keys NMS
The game starts by one person being the starter. He (or she!) thinks of some thing, like "dog," but keeps the thing secret. Now it's the job of the other people to take turns asking questions to the starter person that he can answer by saying only "yes" or "no" to the question. The first person to ask a question usually starts with, “Is the word you're thinking about an animal, a vegetable or a mineral?”-- meaning: is the word an animal, a plant or is it non-living, like a rock? After that, other people take turns asking questions to narrow down what the thing could be. The first person to guess the thing correctly in 20 questions or less wins!
The picture shows living elkhorn coral. Soooooooo, what's a coral?
WHAT'S A CORAL?
A coral polyp is also sort of a plant. How would you like to have lunch by going outdoors and standing in the sun for half an hour while spinach in your skin photosynthesized to make food for you?! That’s what corals do; they have tiny plant cells (called zooxanthellae…zo-zan-thel-ee) living in their skin that make food for the coral. But zooxanthellae don’t look anything like spinach; each one is just a single cell; so gazillions of them live inside almost every coral cell, giving coral its color. And some zooxanthellae can make 90% of the food a coral needs; wow!
NOAA Center for Coastal Monitoring & Assessment
NOAA, courtesy of Ziggy Livnat
If you do at least one of these two snorkel trips, you can print yourself a Virgin Islands National Park SOS Snorkeler Certificate, and show it to the Ranger at our Visitor Center when you visit our Park!
Did You Know?
The Machineel tree, found along the coast, produces crab apple-like fruit that is poisonous. While the fruit is deadly [as Columbus’ men reportedly found out in 1493 when visiting the island], even sap from the Machineel tree can cause an irritating skin rash. The tree is also called Death Apple.