Reef Stonefish - Kenting (22-23May10) C 291.jpg
Kenting, Taiwan -- Reef stonefish (Synanceia verrucosa)
The expertly camouflaged stonefish is often overlooked by divers. It resembles a motionless, algae-covered rock and produces the most deadly fish venom known. The neurotoxin is injected into victims through hollow dorsal fin spines.
My dive buddy, who was ahead of me at the time, spotted this stonefish on a the side of a steep reef wall at 25 m. He indicted to me to come over and have a look. As I approached the site, he used BOTH his outstretched arms with clenched fists to point out the stonefish to me. Amongst diver, an outstretched arm with a clenched fist is used to indicate potentially dangerous marine life.
With divers having described the excruciating and long-lasting pain of a stonefish sting as 13(!) on a 1-10 scale, I guess one can't be too careful!