Michael Langhans @michaellanghans
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This weekend marks the first of the King Tides in California, the most extreme tides of the year that occur when the sun and moon alight to exert the greatest gravitational pull on earth. This year boasts high tides up to 9 feet above mean sea level in certain locations, giving a potential look into future sea-level rise situations. While the low tides this weekend aren't nearly as dramatic, it still is a good time to go look for your favorite intertidal creatures, like the black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii). This endangered molluscs population has plummeted due to overfishing and disease, but still can be found in low intertidal and high subtidal reefs. Best spots to search for them are under overhangs or in rock crevices, where they can reach some refuge from desiccation. . . . . . . . . .. #kin#kin#kingtide> #intertidal #california #sci#science #marinescience #abalone #wildlifephotography #lowtide #climatechange #science #ocean #outside #kingtide #kingtide2020 #tides #channelislands #pacific #algae #tidepool #reef #kelpforest #ucsc #santacruz #montereybay #canonusa #kingtide #sealevel #sealevelrise
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Personally, 2019 was an excellent year for diving. With the help of a wildly eventful internship I dove more than I ever had before. I started this past year with my 600th dive and ended it with my 900th, doing 300 dives in just under a year. I dove in more new locations than ever before, worked on a huge variety of different projects, and did some of my best dives ever in the past 12 months. Here is a video I made a couple weeks ago that I made to recap my summer as a National Parks Service diving intern, an internship made possible by Our World Underwater Scholarship Society and the National Parks Service Submerged Resources Center. All of this footage was taken over a roughly 4 month period, almost completely within National Parks.
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Mid-August I ran into a white shark while on a solo dusk dive in Monterey and it scared the absolute shit out of me. I’ve wanted this experience for years and have imagined it so many times – I’ve done countless dives in ‘sharky’ conditions and I can just perfectly picture a big shark coming out of the gloom and making my year. Every time I imagined it I saw it playing out in the perfect scenario – the shark comes, I get amazing photos, and have a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime experience. I thought I’d be calm and composed, but the reality was nothing of the sort. I’ve never before felt the intense, adrenaline-spiked fear that I felt in that moment – the initial shock of a literal dream coming true before my eyes, followed by the paralyzing fear that comes from an unexpected encounter with a massive predator. I’d like to say this encounter was a complete surprise to me, but in reality I’d never felt such a foreboding feeling on a dive before this run-in. I’ve had many dives that feel ‘sharky’, with gloomy, low-vis conditions, but never had the feeling this strongly. I spent the entire dive swimming and hugging the bottom, along with almost calling my dive twice, because I was spooked and things felt off. I’m not trying to assert that I have some shark sense or anything, just trying to paint an accurate picture as possible of the initial encounter. A complete surprise, but simultaneously something that I was constantly imagining in the back of my head – just not something I ever really expected to come true. Before this moment I’ve never really felt fear in the ocean. I’d been nervous, gotten startled, and been concerned, but never raw fear like this. What amazes me about this encounter is just how powerful life in the ocean can be. I’ve felt some of my strongest emotions while on dives – complete awe, pure joy, and intense, paralyzing fear. Now, why bring all this up to you all? I’m not trying to perpetuate any feelings of sharks being scary or dangerous, despite everything I just wrote. This shark had every reason to eat me up if it’d wanted – I was swimming all by myself out in the middle of its backyard, right during prime hunting hours, but it didn’t. —>
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This was one of my favorite dives of the year, and one of the coolest I think I’ve ever been on. I’ve been on an underwater arch hunt after realizing there are some phenomenal ones hidden off the coast of central California, and was lucky enough to be able to finally visit a couple this year. While delightfully cool, none of them compared to this. Absolutely massive, this arch is essentially a hollowed out sea cave in the corner of a small island, stretching from a sandy bottom 70 feet deep all the way up to the surface. There’s something completely magical about being dwarfed by gigantic structure like this, and I’ll never forget the awe I felt while floating through the cool blue darkness of this dim wonderland. As slight icing on the marine cake that was this dive, I also saw my only turtles of this trip underwater inside this arch. Appearing out of the blue (literally) and gracing our presence in this subtidal cathedral, two green turtles elegantly swam around with us here for a couple minutes before peacefully making their exit and making an unforgettable dive even more sublime. . . . . . A huge thank you to @owuss_ and @npssubmerged for making some diving dreams come true . . . . . #scuba #diving #paditv #und#underwaterphotography #underwaterworld #underwaterart #scubadivingmagazine #canonusa #nauticam #underwaterlife #oceanview #oceanlife #divingphoto #waterlust #divephotoguide #underwaterpig #underwaterwednesday #uwphoto #visithawaii #deepblue #scubapro #scubalife #underwater_world_ #cavediving #adventureisoutthere #naturephotography #wildocean #oceans #scubadivinglife #underwater
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Historically, sea otters lived all along the Pacific coast of North America in populations numbering between 150,000-300,000. An intense demand for otter pelts quickly decimated these populations, plunging them to an estimated 2000 otters across their entire range. About 50 of these individuals lived in California. Through tireless (and successful) conservation efforts, the California sea otter population has reached its current point of roughly 3000 otters - an improvement from the low but still vastly fewer than historic estimates. However, recent research published by a team of researchers lead by Sonoma State's Brent Hughes has suggested a plan that could more than triple the current population - utilizing a habitat type that was overlooked in previous re-introduction efforts, the estuary. Estuaries can provide otters with ample food resources to satiate their never-ending appetite, and their presence can have strongly positive effects on important seagrass habitats through predation of invertebrates. The study focuses on the potential reintroduction to one estuary in particular: the San Francisco Bay. The largest estuarine habitat in California, the San Francisco Bay can support a predicted 6600 otters according to the growth model developed for the study, otters whose presence would help restore the health of an ecologically important habitat in a highly impacted area. There's one big problem - the otters can't colonize the area without help. The current range of the California Sea otter stops just south of the mouth of the San Francisco Bay, for one big reason - great white sharks. These apex predators are present in large numbers near the Golden Gate, and have been a supposed barrier to the northern expansion of the sea otter population for some time now. In order for these otters to reestablish residence in the San Francisco Bay, they would likely need the assistance of researchers to physically transplant them inside.
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Shipwrecks and sea-cliffs. These cliffs on the north shore of Molokai are widely considered the highest in the world, reaching up to 4000 feet above the ocean. . . . . . . . Thanks to @owuss_ and @npssubmerged for giving me the opportunity to get out there . . . . . #und#underwaterphotography #visithawaii #hawaii #scuba #diving #paditv #shipwreck #molokai #kalaupapa #nps #freediving #underwater #underwater_world_ #uwphotography #nauticam #canonphotography #canonusa #oceanview #hawaiisbestphotos #oceans #wreck #scubadivingmag #ucsc #marinescience #marinebiology
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I spent most of my summer diving in new locations - cold freshwater lakes, sunken shipwrecks, Caribbean coral reefs - but the whole time I was missing my kelp forests. Throughout all these travels I had a quick few days in Central California and was able to get one of the most complete California diving experiences I could have asked for. This spot, located off the Big Sur coast, was one of the lushest kelp forests I’ve visited in ages. With a diverse array of algae, clear cold water, and some of the classic kelp forest residents (hello rockfish and harbor seals), I’m not sure I could have imagine a better spot to visit to get my kelp fix. It’s nice to know where your loyalty lies, and mine lies here. . . . . . . . . . . #underwaterphotography #scuba #diving #scubadiving #california #californiadreaming #coldwaterparadise #kelp #kelpforest #montereybay #carmel #bigsur #ucsc #giantkelp #science #marinescience #marineecology #santacruz #oceanlife #oceanview #nauticam #can#canonusa #canon #paditv #scubadivingmag #bambooreef
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I'm making a little change here. This past year I've dove more than I ever have before. I also took more photos than any other year of my life, above and under the water. Despite this, my post frequency has dropped down precipitously. Now it was a busy year, but I can't pretend that I had no time to post to instagram - and I'm not going to pretend I didn't want to either - I like this app, sharing photos I've taken with you all. I've somehow locked myself in a box where I feel like I have a very specific set of parameters for my posts that I must meet - parameters which severely limit what I'm able to share. Can't post this because I don't have anything good to write about it, can't post it because its not underwater, can't post it because I just did one like that. This mindset is smothering my ability to enjoy posting on here, which is absurd because no one is making me do this but myself - so I've decided to change that. I will not stop posting underwater photography, nor will I stop writing a little bit about the biology or ecology behind the photo's subject. I still thoroughly enjoy doing that, and believe my audience likes it too. I just won't do that every post. It takes some time, and sometimes I don't have that time to give. I don't want that to mean I don't share anything here. I'll also (and this will be a tough one for me to transition into) be sharing some photos from above the water as well. I've recently spent a lot of time taking photos in beautiful places that don't happen to be in the ocean, and I want to share them with you! I'm excited for this transition. If anyone is concerned, this will not change the core of this page. It will still be majority underwater photography, because that's what I like the most, and I'll still write about a bunch of it too because I think it's beneficial to spread that information. I just want to supplement that content with other things I'm proud of. I'm looking forward to sharing more with you all and I hope you are too. . . . . . . . . #und#underwaterphotography #scu#scubang #scuba #diving #paditv #underwater #ocean #marine #science #ecology #nauticam #shipwreck #lakesuperior #uwphotography #change #isleroyale
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