I’m one of those lucky people who lives near the beach and one of my favourite things to do is wait for the tide to go out and take a look at the new residents of the rockpools. They’re so full of life and forever changing. You never quite know what you might find.
So today, with a little spectacular wizardry, I’m going to shrink to a small size and go for a swim in a rockpool. I wonder what we might find in there?
Rockpools naturally, are near the ocean and you will have to clamber over slippery rocks. Wear sensible footwear and parents should always supervise their children. Do not go rockpooling if the waves are big or can reach you and avoid bad weather conditions. With a bit of common sense, rockpooling can be perfectly safe and loads of fun. Click here to read more about rock pool safety.
The Dangers That Can Lurk in a Rockpool:
First thing’s first, there are some dangers in a rockpool. I would advise never to touch what you find in there. There are things that can prick, sting, nip and in some extreme cases, even kill. Such things as the blue ring octopus who can sometimes be found lurking in my local rockpools. One bite from that and I’m afraid it’s all over. So, we’ll be very careful to look but not touch. This is what it looks like, so you know to avoid it. Beautiful but deadly.
The Best Way to Spot Things in a Rockpool:
If you’re not a wizard that can magically shrink, you’ll just have to stand and look and there’s a technique for this.
Make sure the sun is on your front, so your shadow is cast behind you. One glimpse of the shadow and the creatures in the rockpool will quickly go into hiding. If they do hide, you’ll have to be patient, stand nice and still and wait before they’ll come back out again.
Here are some things you might find in a rockpool and some crazy things that you defiantly won’t, just for a jolly good giggle.
Oh look, the first thing I see in our rockpool, is some shell fish. They are the easiest to spot as they don’t move. See the different snails, winkles, limpets, barnacles and lots of other things like that. Notice all the different shapes and sizes and amazing varieties of colours they come in, wow!
Look out for any shrimps or prawns too. The first sign of them will be movement in the water.
And over here there’s a crab. You’re almost certain to see some crabs scuttling under the edges of the rocks. You may just see some claws sticking out or it might run across the bottom for you if you’re lucky. Again, be quick or you’ll miss it.
We’ve all seen crabs and they are one of the most varied creatures on Earth, living in all of the world’s oceans. From the deepest depths to the ones we might find in our rockpool. Note the colours and sizes from the part of the world you are.
Check out some fun facts from Awesomeocean.com
In a rockpool you surely won’t find… any penguins no matter how much you’d love to, so don’t be disappointed.
Now to one of the slower moving residents of our rockpool is the starfish. Despite being called a star-fish, they are not fish. They can be spiky and strangely they eat with their stomachs inside out!
There are many types of fish that live in the rockpool, from this little goby, to any number of others. You will find different fish in different parts of the world.
You have to be quiet, they won’t hang out for long so keep your eyes peeled. You’ll see them dart away as you approach. They’re afraid you might be a hungry seabird! Especially if you flap your arms and walk like a chicken. You may have to be patient to see any fish but to capture a good glimpse is worth a bit of time.
In a rockpool I can guarantee you will not find… Sharks, so don’t be afraid of getting eaten.
This strange creature is a sea anemone, the ones you might find in a rockpool will be small but out of the thousand-plus species all over the world, some can be 6ft across! They are a beautiful and successful animal that use stinging tentacles to snag smaller prey. The come in a wondrous variety of colours and designs. Look, but don’t touch these can give a sting!
And now we see a sea urchin or two. These are spiky little fellas that I often find in rockpools even though most live in deep water. They have a mouth on the bottom and eat algae from the rocks. They’ll also eat mussels and dead fish too. Keep your hands off, because this one’s prickly.
You won’t find… Crocodiles, cool as they are, the rockpool simply isn’t big enough for these toothy predators.
This is my favourite find, I mean what amazing creatures, super intelligent, eight armed, 3 hearted, blue blooded, colour changing, shape shifting creatures. They’re very hard to spot as they change colours and shapes to match their background. They have arms not tentacles, each can work independently from each other. Click here for more fun facts about octopuses and cool pics.
I found this weird creature in a rockpool recently.
I found out it’s a type of sea slug called a blue dragon that feeds off the tentacles of the stinging blue bottle that you can find washed up on beaches in some parts of the world. That gives the blue dragon it’s colour and it also has a sting! Strange.
Good luck rockpool hunters, hope you find some super cool stuff.
Next week check out: Jokes for Kids. Hold onto your sides when Larry the Jester and the Minstrel Will Pinktights will bring the jolly japes and laugh out loud limericks!
Barry Brunswick is a children’s author. You can buy his children’s books on Amazon, The War of The Turnips, The Secret Tale of the Cupboard Gnome, Sally the Astronaut, and the new short story collection Barry S. Brunswick’s Tall Tales. Follow Barry on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.