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  • José H. Leal

Black Water Beauty

This beautiful image of an Oxygyrus inflatus snail was shot by Simone Matucci off Kailua-Kona, a township on the island of Hawaii. Oxygyrus inflatus snails reach only about 10 mm (0.4 mm) in size, spending their entire lives in open water. They have very large eyes and a single swimming fin. Their transparent and flexible shells are not very calcified. The shells of open-water mollusks are usually very thin, light, but still very strong and resilient. Simone Matucci specializes in black-water photography, which is done by divers in open water at night, using sophisticated underwater photography equipment.


Oxygyrus inflatus, by Simone Mattuci.