Written by Jessica Keller, archeologist for the NPS Submerged Resources Center
Photos by Brett Seymour, A/V Production Specialist / Deputy Chief for the NPS Submerged Resources Center
Gearing up for a dive
Life at the USS Arizona
Reduced visibility forces divers to recognize to site features and create a mental map of the ship in their head. It also draws one’s attention to the smaller details that can go unnoticed in other areas where a diver’s range of visibility is wider. For instance, small nudibranchs or sea slugs are tiny creatures ranging in sizes from 0.16 to 23.62 inches. The nudibranchs seen on this site are just over one inch with blue and white spots with red gill plumes. Usually, these tiny creatures remain unseen, but if one’s range of sight is only 3 feet, these small creatures are an exciting find!
In addition to nudibranchs, we have sighted a number of brown seahorses. According to the park, the brown seahorse had not been seen on the site for a few years, but over the past couple of days, we have seen and photographed a number of these delicate animals, including a pregnant male! Seahorses are unique in this aspect as the males carry and give birth to the young.
A surprising amount of other sea life such as sponges, coral, algae, fish, and spotted eagle rays call USS Arizona home. The shallow warm water covering the main deck creates a stable and protected environment for these animals.
Sunlight on the ship
Oil at the USS Arizona
The Next 100 Years
Last updated: April 17, 2019