Underwater Acid Trip

“Borneo from Below” brings dazzling footage of the life aquatic in the South China Sea.

September 29, 2015

What do you have to do to see a hermaphroditic, psychedelic giant sea slug? Hint: Drugs are not required, but scuba gear usually is. This foot-long beauty is called a nudibranch, a multicolored mollusk that roams the freaky underwater world off Borneo. Incredibly, nudibranchs are just one of dozens of fantastical creatures that live in this stretch of sea.

But if you’re short on cash or lost your snorkel in the attic, you can check out Borneo From Below. This 8-part online series introduces us to the cornucopia of wild-looking organisms, populating hundreds of miles of pristine tropical reefs in the South China Sea —from copulating sea turtles to glass-breaking mantis shrimp.

Hosted by British diving dude and photojournalist Aaron “Bertie” Gekoski and produced by Borneo’s Scubazoo, Borneo From Below reminds us why the oceans, and all its peculiar inhabitants, are worth saving.

The undersea ecosystems of Borneo—an island that’s part Indonesia, part Malaysia, and part Brunei—are currently healthy and largely pristine but threats lurk on the horizon. Warming waters and pollution are killing off fish and reefs in the region, and local fishermen are known to boost their catches by using dynamite and cyanide. Not even a tornado of barracuda that blocks out the sun can withstand that.  

onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Join Us

When you sign up you'll become a member of NRDC's Activist Network. We will keep you informed with the latest alerts and progress reports.