X-Ray Mag #126

Paul Flandinette
91 spreads (double pages)
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X-Ray Mag Global edition   ~50 Mb

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Simon Pridmore  
Photo by Lakshmi Sawitri CC BY 2.0 DEED

There are times when conditions on a dive may become challenging, and divers must decide whether to abort the dive. Simon Pridmore offers insights and advice on how to handle such situations and how to abort dives in a safe way.

Paul Flandinette   Paul Flandinette
Photo by Paul Flandinette

Dhofar, Oman’s southernmost region, offers a unique blend of tropical and temperate diving, with carpets of kelp and seaweeds, diverse marine life, a range of endemic tropical species, sea turtles, whale sharks, manta rays and Arabian Sea humpback whales. Paul Flandinette has the story.

Don Silcock   Don Silcock
Photo by Don Silcock

The images are what immediately grab your attention—seemingly alien creatures lurking somewhere out there in the dark of night, long after most people have called it a day. Don Silcock takes us on a blackwater dive.

Pierre Constant   Pierre Constant
Photo by Pierre Constant

In Oman, there is plenty of diving to enjoy and marine life to observe in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. Pierre Constant shares his adventure there.

Silke Shrimpf   Heinz Toperczer
Photo by Heinz Toperczer

During the past 24 years of going out to sea as tour operators in South Africa, Silke Schimpf and her husband, Rainer, have encountered orcas hunting several times, killing animals such as seals, dolphins and sharks. But never in their wildest dreams could they have imagined that they and their crew would witness an attack on a humpback whale like the one that took place on 1 December 2023.

Claudio Ziraldo with Alessandro Ziraldo   Claudio Ziraldo
Photo by Claudio Ziraldo

Photographing in ambient light can be a choice or a necessity. It is therefore important to develop an adequate sensitivity to ambient light in order to be able to judge whether it is the best option for shooting a particular scene. Claudio Ziraldo offers some insights and tips on how to improve your underwater images.

Mohamed Rehan   Shafraz Naeem / Ocean Six Fifty
Photo courtesy of Shaff Naeem - Ocean Six Fifty

At first, when Shafraz Naeem, a former military diving instructor with an impressive 27-year career, decided to take on the ambitious mission of a 50-hour non-stop dive, he had no idea the feat would go on to be recognised as a new record. Mohamed Rehan interviewed Naeem to find out more.

Malcolm Nobbs   Malcolm Nobbs , Norihiro Fukui
Photo by Malcolm Nobbs

Whitespotted bamboo sharks, the elusive dwellers of southeast Asia’s marine realm, are not easy to find. Maybe it is just that they are relatively scarce. Or maybe it is simply because during the daytime, they rest in deep crevices. Either way, they are rarely seen. Malcolm Nobbs takes us to Kannoura Bay in Japan in search of this rare shark.

X-Ray Mag Contributors   X-Ray Mag Contributors
Photo by Kate Jonker

We asked our contributors to share their favorite underwater photos showing the transparent and translucent qualities of underwater creatures, and they came back with a range of macro and wide-angle shots featuring a variety of marine life. Here, X-Ray Mag contributors share their selected images from the tropical waters of Palau, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hawaii to the subtropical and temperate waters of Costa Brava in Spain, New Zealand, South Africa, the US East Coast and British Columbia in Canada.

Robert Osborne  

The US Coast Guard report on the drowning of Canadian filmmaker and technical diver Rob Stewart in Florida was released in 2022 after five years of investigation. Journalist Robert Osborne, who wrote a book about the case, responds to the report.

Malcolm Nobbs   Malcolm Nobbs
Photo by Malcolm Nobbs

Are belugas the world’s friendliest whales? They are known to be extremely playful and curious. Malcolm Nobbs was keen to observe those qualities first-hand. So, he flew to Churchill in the Canadian subarctic—the “Beluga Capital of the World.”


Other articles and news in this edition

Photo courtesy of MIDE

AsiaEvents Exsic is delighted to announce the 18th Malaysia International Dive Expo (MIDE) in 2024. Set for 7-9 June 2024 at the Malaysia International Trade Exhibition Centre (MITEC) in Kuala Lumpur, this year’s expo, themed “Embracing the Ocean’s Majesty,” promises to be an immersive celebration of diving and marine exploration.

Hermanus Backpackers CC BY 2.0

An international team of researchers has challenged the findings which suggested that white shark populations in South Africa have remained stable since 1991, with a shift eastward attributed to predation from orcas.

Elias Levy CC BY 2.0

Researchers at the University of California Shark Lab have found that swimmers, surfers, and great white sharks are often in close proximity in Southern Californian waters, much more so than had been assumed. Yet in spite of this, shark bites are rare. Shark Lab Director Chris Lowe emphasizes that white sharks generally ignore humans. They just do not see them as prey.

Peter Symes

Greece commits €780 million to establish marine parks but rival Turkey and environmental groups are not impressed.

Peter Symes - Midjourney

Research suggests sperm whale clicks may represent a complex language system.

Shaun Lee CC BY 4.0 DEED

The Galápagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) has unveiled the existence of a nursery site for smooth hammerhead sharks nestled in a secluded bay off Isabela Island.

fmsimpson - Pixabay license

In recent years, the hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic has persisted all the way to December, thereby exposing the local wildlife and emerging vegetation to the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Peter Symes - Midjourney

Scientists have unlocked the mystery of how some whale species are capable of singing complex songs while submerged and holding their breath, a recent study published in Nature reveals.

© 2024 Shota Hosono CC BY-NC

A study by the University of Tokyo lifts the veil on how the male spear squid approaches a potential mate.

Aqualung Group

Aqualung Group has discovered counterfeit Apeks drysuit valves on the market. Both inlet and outlet valves are affected. Here is how to tell the difference between the real valves and the copies.

Naohiro Hasegawa and Hiroshi Kajihara CC BY 4.0 DEED

First described in 2024, this little sea squirt resembles a tiny baby panda in a Halloween costume. It lives off the coast of the Japanese island of Kumejima and feeds on plankton and other minute organic matter.