The Philippines: In the Triangle

Any discussion about diving Negros should start with a shot of the wonderfully preserved reefs at Apo Island. At top, soft coral.

MY POST IN THE ORIGINS SECTION, “The Far Side of the World: Geohistory & the Triangle of Diversity,”  helps explain why we in the U.S. pay much more money and travel much longer distances to dive in the Pacific rather than the Atlantic/ Caribbean.


At one time ocean life was uniformly distributed worldwide along the Equator, but the movements of continents and the rise and fall of sea level ensured that many more species survived in the Indo/Pacific basin.

A false clown fish emerges from an anemone hiding place.

Probably the most important event was the great ice age that covered North America and Europe with two-mile-thick glaciers as late as 18,000 years ago. As worldwide sea levels dropped some 425 feet, many species died out in the shallower Caribbean than in the deeper Indo/Pacific.


Principal Sources for Photo I.D.’s: Reef Fish Identification, Tropical Pacific, Gerald Allen, Roger Steene, Paul Humann, Ned DeLoach; Reef Creature Identification, Tropical Pacific, Paul Humann, Ned DeLoach; Indo-Pacific Coral Reef  Field Guide, Gerald Allen, Roger Steene.