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LOOKOUT! Toxic Starfish!

LOOKOUT! Toxic Starfish!

(suspenseful drums and strings) (intense horns and drumming) – [Coyote Voiceover] The
Pacific Ocean is as blue as one might imagine
in their dreams. And if you travel 2,500 miles off the Southwestern
coast of North America, you will find a series
of land masses known as the Hawaiian Islands. This lush paradise
seems as if it would be the perfect place to encounter
numerous species of animals. However, truth be told, the wildlife is few
and far between. It’s distance proximity
to any main continent has kept it rather void
of your typical reptiles, amphibians, insects,
and arachnids. However, what it lacks in its
creatures to feature on land, it makes up for tenfold with its rich plethora
of marine life. – Look at all the poop. – Are you rolling? – [Camera Man] I’m rolling. – Alright guys,
now you may notice we’re pretty excited out here, because today is our first
scuba diving adventure. Now, we will be
exploring Whalers Cove. This is the same place
we scouted the other day when we were snorkeling. We saw tons of marine animals. Today is going to be
a little different because we will be scuba diving. Now, to catch an animal,
it’s not going to be easy. So I’m bringing with me
this giant blue bucket. The goal is to slowly
coax an animal into this, bring it up to the shoreline, and then get it up
close for the cameras. Wish us luck, guys,
and get excited, because today is going
to be one epic dive. – [Coyote Voiceover]
It’s one thing to explore the
Hawaiian tide pools. It’s another thing to
snorkel along the reefs. And it’s a completely
different world the minute you go 25
feet beneath the surface with a dive tank. Mark and I had recently
become dive certified, and today was going
to be our very first open water ocean dive. Safety is everything when it
comes to submerging yourself into the great
unknown of the ocean. So we carefully
assembled our dive gear and checked it thoroughly before heading down
to the shoreline. Woo! It is hot out here. Okay, guys, my BCD
is weighted properly, got my air tank hooked up. It’s time to strap
into this puppy and get out there
under the water. – [Man Off Camera] Alright. – [Coyote Voiceover]
For those of you who are not scuba certified, let me take a moment to tell you that the instant you deflate
your Buoyancy Control Device, there is a moment of sheer
terror as your body sinks toward the ocean floor
like a bag of rocks. In your mind you know
that the regulator in your mouth contains
the precious air that your lungs so
desperately need, so you trust what your
brain is telling you, and slowly you begin to breathe. This is the point where your
heart rate begins to even out. You are breathing underwater, and you are not drowning. Then you open your
eyes and realize that you are beneath
the ocean waves in a world you never
imagined existed. You look around,
gather your bearings and coordinate with hand
gestures to your dive team that everything is
absolutely okay. Ah yes, your dive team. One of the most important
rules about diving is that you never, and I
mean never, dive alone. So today we will be exploring
alongside Mike and Brian, two veteran divers
who know this area and its animals incredibly well. Our goal was to find an animal
that we could safely catch and bring to the surface
for a presentation. And as our dive fins
propelled us forward, we immediately began to admire the schools of
brightly colored fish as they darted in and around
the massive coral structures. We saw enormous sea urchins
armed with razor-sharp spines, and big squishy sea cucumbers that were nearly
the size of my arm. These were good candidates. However, they were also species we had come upon
in the tide pools. So we continued further,
keeping our eyes on the lookout for something even more bizarre. (steel drum music) The art of diving takes
some getting used to, and the real key is
to take your time. For a human, life beneath the
surface moves in slow motion. So, as long as you
pace your breathing and let your dive fins
do all of the work, the experience is
absolutely magical. For beginner divers
like Mark and myself, a tank of air should
last around an hour. And as it turns out, this was plenty of time
to find our star animal, because around forty minutes in we came across the one
and only crown-of-thorns. This large sea star
is armed with hundreds of razor sharp,
venom-lined spines. So it was a risky maneuver, but I managed to use the
edge of my GoPro tripod to gently coax it from
its hold on the rocks and into our bucket. (suspenseful music) Success! This was the perfect animal
to bring above the waves and present in front
of the cameras. So we clasped down the lid and headed toward the surface. (light music) – Woo! We got one. – And by got one, what he means is the one and only
crown-of-thorns sea star. This is one dangerous
bucket right here. They’re extremely venomous. Fortunately, we got it
safely up off of the rocks and into the bucket
without being spiked, and now it’s time to get it
into a controlled setting so we can get up
close for the cameras. – Dude, I think I got
that shot perfect. I swam right down
and I had you come in right up to it with it in
the foreground, oh man. – It couldn’t have been in
anymore perfect position, I was able to get on the
backside of the rock, and what’s cool is they
actually come off the rocks much easier than I thought. I was able to just use the
backside of the GoPro AquaPod and it kind of floated it up, and right into the bucket. – [Mark] Wait
until you guys see, it barely fits in this bucket. – [Coyote] It’s big. – [Mark] It barely fit in there. – It is a big sea star. Alright guys, lets get up here. – Go this way. – Wow, this bucket is
a lot heavier on land than it is in the water. And inside is one very
toxic marine creature. Are you guys ready to
meet the crown-of-thorns? – [Camera Man] Let’s see it. – Okay, now what
I’m going to do is slowly pry off the
top of the bucket. Let me see where it’s at here. Woo! Still down on the bottom. Look at this, the
entire circumference is filled with sea star. – [Camera Man] Now is it
upside down right now? – It is upside down,
which is actually working in our favor. Now, what I’m gonna
do is very slowly pour the water into this
Tupperware container, and then the sea star will
gently crawl in there. There we go. – [Camera Man] And
a perfect flip. – There we go. Look at you. Woo! Alright, let’s take a minute to admire the size
of this animal. Now, this is one of the
largest growing sea star species on the planet. I am in awe of this
creature right now. I cannot believe how big it is. I was hoping maybe
we would find one about the size of my hand. This is about maximum size, and I want to count its
legs really quickly. Because I want to tell
you guys about that. One, two, three, four, five,
six, seven, eight, nine… 18 legs. Now, I have read that the
maximum number of legs that the radius disc that makes
up its body can grow is 20. This thing has 18 legs. Now, when they start
off and they’re small, like many sea star species,
they only have around five legs, and as they grow, as
that center disc grows, they have more arms
that then grow off. Now what I’m going to do… No, I’m not going to be
spiked by the crown-of-thorns. At least not intentionally. – [Camera Man] Can you at
least see how sharp they are? – Yes, I will see
how sharp they are. But what I want to
do first is just wear this pair of dive gloves to see if I can gently pry it off the
bottom and actually hold it, because it will be much
easier for your presentation. – [Camera Man] It can
spike through those gloves. – It can. That’s why I want to try
to handle it as gently as I possibly can. Wow, look at that animal. Unbelievably bizarre looking. Like a living pincushion. – [Camera Man] You
can really see it losing its shape already. – Yeah they do. Now the body is very gelatinous. You’ll begin to notice
it starts to droop as I’m holding it up
and out of the water. Now, these animals can
stay out of the water for a significant
amount of time, but I am going to have
to keep dunking it down so that it keeps its structure. – [Camera Man] I don’t even
know what to say about this, it’s like a combination
of a sea cucumber, and a sea urchin, a
sea star, an octopus… – It’s like many
things all at once. Now, all of these
legs are prehensile. Which means they can
move independently, and they help this
animal grip to the sides of rocks when it’s
under the water. And like other sea-star species, if they lose one of their limbs, they can actually
regenerate that limb, which means that
it will grow back. And its tube feet, let
me turn it like this. Can you see all the tube
feet on the underside? – [Camera Man] Oh man,
they’re like little mushrooms. – Yeah well, they’re
like little mushrooms and have little suction
cups on the end. And they use those tube feet to move through the environment. Now, we found this one
on a big flat rock. Which is where they
usually try to hang out to keep their body spread out, and as they’re
slowly moving along, what they will actually do is
regurgitate their stomachs. How gross is that? And then the stomach will
lay on top of the coral and digestive enzymes
will break it down, and it will slowly
slurp up the remains, leaving behind nothing
but a coral skeleton. Alright, I’m going
to set it back down into the water
here for a second. Really gently. And they are rather fragile. I have to be real gentle,
I don’t want to be spiked. Let it slowly detach
from my glove. There you go, buddy. Okay. Let go. Woo! He’s stuck on to me. See all the sea feet letting go? There we go. Now, I am curious… – [Camera Man] Oh boy, no, no. – [Coyote] As to… – [Camera Man] No, you’re
not gonna get spiked. – As to how sharp those
spines really are. And no, I am not going to
intentionally spike myself. That’s far too risky. But what I do want to do, is I’m gonna gently
pry it up again here. Can you see its back there
with all the spines up? Can you see that? Let me just… Oh wow. – [Camera Man] How sharp? – We are talking needle sharp. – [Camera Man] Can you
feel the tips of it? – I can and they’re
very slippery. You can actually feel
the slime on the sheath that is encasing the spine. Similar to the lionfish, the
way that these spines work is if something applies
pressure to them, that membrane peels back, and then the venom seeps
out into the wound. – [Camera Man] Let
me check it out, they seem pretty dull to me. – They’re not, be very careful. – [Camera Man] Oh yeah. – They are very, very sharp. – [Camera Man] If you were
to put any kind of pressure, they’re going in. – It would not take
much for your hand to whap down on this, or
if it bumped into your leg when you were scuba diving, you would be in really,
really bad shape. Now, the spines are
actually relatively brittle, and that’s where you really
run into the problem: not only are they venomous, but it’s really easy for them to break off inside
of your skin. So, a spine goes into you, or in this case
probably many spines, they break off, the venom
sets in, you begin to swell. As that liquid builds
underneath the skin the spines dig deeper and deeper and they’re almost
impossible to get out unless you actually
have surgery. That’s why so many people really approach this
animal with caution, and it is just
suctioned onto my hand and my arm right now– – [Camera Man] It’s
gotta make you nervous. – A little bit, but it
is important to note that this animal cannot
shoot its spines. The misnomer that porcupines
can shoot their quills, the crown-of-thorns
cannot shoot its spines, so you actually have
to apply pressure, similar to the
spines of a lionfish, to get them to stick into you, and then, of course, for that
venom to get into your system. Now, the crown-of-thorns is considered a problem
species in many areas because if there’s
an outbreak of them they can actually
decimate a coral reef. The females can release up to sixty million eggs
in a breeding season. That’s why they
become such a problem, if you have an outbreak
in an area where there are no predators, they
can quickly decimate a reef, and, right now, that’s
what’s happening in Australia on the Great Barrier Reef. – [Camera Man] So, what’s
eating these out here? – That’s a good
question, you would think something with all of these
spines, and it’s venomous, would probably
have no predators, but, believe it not, there
are a few species of crabs, shrimp, and also the Triton’s
Trumpet, which is a big snail that are capable of
eating these sea stars. You look at thing and
you say to yourself, “Nope that’s not gonna
be a meal for me,” but, alas, there are some
creatures out there helping to control the population of
crown-of-thorns sea stars. Absolutely gorgeous. And this one is a beast. This is pretty close to maximum size for
the crown-of-thorns. – [Camera Man] What did you say, you saw it from 20 feet away? – I could see it from
about 20 feet away. I was coming towards the rock, and I was like “Wow. “There is one of the animals “that we hoped we
would come across.” – [Coyote Voiceover]
Working with marine animals is a very delicate balance. Not only did we
need to make sure that the animal was properly
hydrated, and gently handled, but I also needed to be
concerned for my own safety and the well being of the crew. – [Camera Man] So, Coyote,
what did you think? First time diving,
pretty awesome? – I told you guys this
was going to be epic, and I won’t lie, I was
very nervous at first. As soon as you’re
underwater, though, and see all the fish
swimming around, it’s like you’re on another
planet beneath the surface. It’s so calm, so relaxing, and the one animal that I hoped
we would come across today, the crown-of-thorns sea
star, sure enough showed up. I’m Coyote Peterson,
be brave, stay wild, we’ll see you on
the next adventure. Alright, let’s get this
animal back off into the ocean before I get spiked. – [Coyote Voiceover]
The crown-of-thorns is a venomous marine animal, and even the smallest poke
from one of its many spines has the potential to
be incredibly painful. If you ever find yourself
beneath the ocean surface, and just so happen upon one, simply admire it
from a safe distance. Hey, Coyote Pack, have
you picked up your tickets for the Brave
Adventures Tour, yet? There’s only a few left, so make sure to
click on this link to reserve your seats today, and remember, the
tour is the only place you can find one of
the exclusive Golden
Adventure Tickets. And don’t forget, subscribe! So you can join me and the
crew on our next big adventure. – I am so proud to
have written this book and it was inspired by a lot of the adventures
that we have had. (animals roaring)

100 thoughts on “LOOKOUT! Toxic Starfish!”

  1. I was expecting that star fish to flip flop over in his hands the way he was holding it up and sting him 100 times lol.

  2. I like this vid its so cool one time i showd my brother's one of the videos i loved watching them it was so funny

  3. Sorry but, who never imagined the underwater world existed or can’t get their head around breathing underwater??? Seems pretty basic for even the most simplistic human.

  4. Scuba diving off an isolated island in Malaysia I saw a dive master take one of these and bury it until 3 feet of sand on the beach because it was seen as a coral reef parasite. Definitely agree.

  5. 6:52 In most shows, we don't normally even consider the camera guy's, or the work they do, especially when its nature stuff that can't be scripted or controlled like entirely produced content can be. It's little comments like what the guy (his name escapes me at the moment) says there, that make you think about his perspective in the whole endeavor, and gives us one more angle to appreciate this from. Amazing work guys!


  7. If you going to scuba diving if you get in and then the tank instantly runs out of water would you die

  8. Without his hat and before he talked , I thought he was some kind of Kyote Peterson's friend who will explain about animals LAMO!!

    Sorry about spellings.

  9. i actually have an lab in my school that has a crown of thorns along with some other amazing animals. we get to do things like breed clownfish and it’s my favorite class ever. you should totally come check it out. it’s completely run by the students and we have some rare stuff!

  10. You can’t release them, they are pest because they kill all the coral just remember that good vid btw

  11. Coyote: …”but they were all species we had seen before in tide pools.”

    Me: sees bunny outside


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