Perfect birthday gift from nature: Aurora Borealis!

A short break from reality! Birthday holiday in Lapland. I had 1 wish: see the Northern light (Aurora Borealis). Nature gave me a perfect birthday present. 3 out of 4 nights, the sky was clear and the solar activity was heavy! Sleeping in a glass iglo was a special experience. (iglos Kakslauttanen)

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Halmahera: animals and movies

Sometimes, in a movie, you see all kind of animals which are presented as monsters and dangerous (because they look like monsters). During my trip in Halmahera, I encountered 2 of these monsters.

The bobbit worm (during a night dive): it really looks like a monster. And when it attacks a fish, it’s very fast and it jumps out of the sand with a speed you can’t even follow it.
The bobbit worm has been used in the Star Wars movies. Worm coming out of the ground is based on this bobbit worm.

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The whip spider is a primitive animal belonging to the spider family, but not really a spider. It looks a monster. We found it when caving in Sagea cave. They are in the part where no natural light enters the cave. They have big jaws which they use to attack their food and also protect their territory. The whip spider plays a role in the Harry Potter movie : HP and the goblet of fire!

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Halmahera: caving in Sagea cave

Non-diving day: let’s explore something different. The big Sagea cave. With a small dug-out boat, we go upstream to the cave. The river enters the cave, where you then have stairs to climb into the first big space. The cave is hughe! Many different rooms with very high cealings. And stalactites and stalagmites everywere (bumped my head on one of them: it hurts!).

The cave is full of big bats, hughe spiders, some kind of crickets (but really big) and whip spiders.

Caving will probably not become my hobby. It is really beautifull, but walking through the mud, slippery, holding rocks full of bat-shit is not my prefered activity. 😉

The local guides were also happy when we mentioned it was far enough.

It’s actually the boatride to and from the cave which I absolutely enjoyed. What a view with the light hitting the water!

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Halmahera: jungle walk, searching for birds

A must-do in Halmahera: trekking in the jungle and looking for birds. In all colours and sizes.
Birding is new for me. So, not easy to spot, not to speak about identifying and naming it. The local guide has extreme good eyes. More difficult for me, even with binoculars!

I had also interes in all the found insects. They are big!

A local cave was full of bats. They fly out when shining light on them!

At night, fireflies are all around. We had natural christmas trees when they were sitting in the tree.

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Diving in Halmahera (Maluku islands, Indonesia)

Diving in Halmahera offers everything you want to see. Perfect corals, large schools, weird critters, macro stuff, and …. No other divers!

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Pygmaea stuff: clockwise: pygmee seahorse, pygmee horsepipe, pygmee seadragon, pygmee horsepipe.

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Crabs and shrimps in all sizes and colours

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My favourite nudibranches and flatworms : right-top: nudibranch laying eggs!

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Super soft and hard corals

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