National Geographic : 1956 Feb
187 Passing Surgeonfish Show No Interest in Camera Crew or Sand Volcanoes Waiting for an eruption (opposite), Marden lies flat. His tendency to rise is checked by Goupil's hand. Most coral reefs are found in the western parts of the oceans. One reason is that trade winds of the tropics tend to blow surface water from the western shores of continents. To replace this surface loss, cold water wells up from below. As reef corals cannot flour ish in water of less than 70° F., reefs tend to form on or off the eastern continental rims. Another reason is that the warm equatorial currents move westward, concentrating coral larvae there. One day we filmed a scene for The Silent World at 144 feet. Nine divers took part, including actors, lamp carriers, and camera men. At a signal from director Cousteau we jackknifed and swam down as rapidly as pos sible, through the squeeze of increasing pres sure, into the dark blue of deep water. Near the base of the reef cliff rose a spire of coral to a height of 10 feet. On this column I saw specimens of nearly every kind of invertebrate marine life of warm seas: scarlet and yellow sponges, small fibrillate yellow sea fans, platelike pearl oysters, and, crowning the pinnacle, a magnificent plumed bush of black coral. Amid this miniature jungle of animal growth flitted darting blue wrasses, nervous round damselfish of black and yellow, and a majestic pair of butterflyfish which peered into each mask in turn. We took up our stations around the coral head for the scene: the light carriers sus pended in water halfway up the coral head, and I kneeling on the sandy bottom, gently controlling my sinking into position by ex haling so as not to raise a cloud of sand. The cloud of animal life looked uniformly blue to us, and then Cousteau signaled and the floodlights switched on.