Golden Spirals

Golden Spirals - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Golden Spirals – Photograph by Laura Lecce

These Spiral Gilled Tube Worms live embedded in mounds of coral. The spirals which they project out are used for feeding and respiration. In addition to a very interesting shape, they come in an array of beautiful colors, which often makes them the subject of underwater photography. This particular photograph was taken while snorkeling in Malaysia, however, they can be found in many tropical corals around the world. When disturbed or startled, they instantly tuck themselves into their burrow, forcing me to hold my breath while they slowly fan themselves out again. I never would have thought I would find a worm so gorgeous.