Where does this crackling on the reef come from?

Anyone who has been snorkeling or Scuba diving on a tropical coral reef for the first time ever, for sure has been surprised of these strange sounds under water.

koh tao shrimp

A constant crackling and rustling can be heard around coral reefs all over the world. In our area Ko Tao’s coral reefs are said to be the loudest in Southeast Asia.


koh samui dive site

on the

dive in koh samui


koh tao crab

But where do these sounds come from? Well, corals, anemones, sponges and rocks are only what we can see from above. But what lies underneath can certainly be seen as a bit of an own universe. All these coral and rock formations are providing shelter. This for millions and millions of tiny living beings. These dark and narrow cracks where we can’t even stick our finger in (which is not recommended anyway). There are especially the home of a incredibly huge numbers of shrimps and crabs. Many of them not bigger than a few millimeters. Tiny critters, small creatures that remain unseen for most of us. And it’s exactly these little shrimps and crabs that are responsible for all these sounds.

By making these crackling sounds they are simply communicating with each other. They are very sociable beings. When we are Scuba diving or snorkeling we are basically just listening to their everyday gossip.

Very often we also can here very similar but still different sounds. More like someone’s scratching on something. And that’s whats actually happening as well. Hundreds and thousands of reef fishes like parrot fishes, rabbit fishes and others are scraping algae from the rocks or from dead coral. They are basically cleaning the reef avoiding that it becomes overgrown by algae – a very important for all other creatures that call the ocean their home.

So come and hear the crackling by diving and snorkeling, listen to the sound of nature.

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