Out of destruction, there is sometimes beauty.
This image was captured at Banda Api, in the Banda Sea area of Indonesia. This dive site is aptly named “Lava Flow”.
In May 1988, Bandi Api volcano (elevation 640 metres/2100 feet) explosively erupted, and the subsequent lava flow made it all the way to the ocean nearby, where it decimated the fringing coral reef.
What is particularly heartwarming, in the aftermath of such destruction, is the reemergence of a beautiful, lively coral garden, growing abundantly in just 25 years.
In the image above, you can see a huge plate coral, which has been knocked over on its side. And out of it, growing like stacked condos, are new smaller coral plates, which form this unique structure.
And here is an image taken on the (new) reef. Check out the dense, healthy corals. Twenty-five years is all it took, in a hospitable environment:
And below is a view taken from the shallows. Who says you can’t do an over/under with a four inch mini dome? ;^) Okay – admittedly it is not a perfect shot (these things are devilishly difficult to expose properly, not to mention only four inches of glass to split in half), but you can see the remnants of the lava flow at the shoreline, and the peak of the Banda Api volcano up behind it. It looks like the ocean healed more quickly than the land after this catastrophic volcanic event.