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Introducing Actinia Mediterranea, also called Underwater Tomato or Sea Anemone; an impressive carnivorous of the ocean

By katerinaramm | katerinaramm | 28 Apr 2020

Isn't it strange how sometimes life itself gets you excited with new discoveries out of the 'blue'? That has happened to me a few days ago.

Lately, due to the quarantine we are experiencing in Greece* we can only go walking once a day, and only at a place near our home. Therefore I every day must walk at the same places. I see the same scenery every day, during the time I go walking.

A part of the beach near my home is a rocky one. Many rock formations, that have partially changed due to storms, strong winds and high tide. I am not sure what kind of life existed before, but I have been noticing lots of alive creatures that actually are fun to watch!


First meeting ever - yuck!


I was observing the rocky shore, and actually searching for walking sea snails (they seemed to be the most interesting part of the place)

The colors were white, blue, green and some colors in between.

Suddenly something red catches my eye. Something red and round, under a rock a bit further away from me. I lean over, almost fell in the water and could only touch it with my hand a little bit. It was stuck on the rock, as I touched it, it felt slimy, and I was scared thinking I had found a medusa.


 Second meeting - hmmm


A few days ago, I saw another red thing on a rock. It was like a big tomato, attached to one side of the rock. This time, I was closer to it. I turned the rock to the point it would still be in water (but I could have a closer look at the 'tomato') - So the adventure begins!

What? A tomato in bloom!

When I started taking its pictures and videos, I was suddendly so surprised - I saw it moving a little bit. While "the thing" was staying attached to the rock, it started opening its "mouth"? to reveal a number of small tentacles. Why? I don't know. Maybe it felt threatened?




My actions?

I did not wish to put it to trouble, not scare it, nor kill it of course. I turned the rock upside down and when I came home, I thoughts I would search it online to see what it was. I thought it was a medusa to be honest (not I have ever seen one up close)

What words would you use to search?
I searched with pretty much the obvious.

"red thing on a rock - sea" and boom! I saw the image and I knew I got it!

Scientific name: *Actinia Mediterranea*

Also called as "pomodoro di mare" which means tomato of the sea. It does look like one, doesn't it?

This post was meant to be more scientific, but it turned out as my 'adventure diary' during Quarantine, day "I dont remember how many already"

So I will leave you with a couple of videos and images and I promise to come back with a more decent post.

In the meantime, feel free to read about this beautiful creatures below :)


I could not make the gifs function so feel free to watch this video



More of my Crete & discoveries >

My lovely community >


* Post written in April 2020 - during lockdown in Greece (and in other countries) as one of the protective measures for the Corona Virus.


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