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  • (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.