My first time scuba diving with a nudibranch I notice it is nowhere near nude and is covered by an incredibly dazzling coat of many colours and looks nothing like the arm of a tree. So I have zero idea why the microscope-peering-labcoats would call it a nudibranch. Crazy thing. Wonder what they were thinking at the time of naming? Or could this be one of those moments when smart graduates simply don’t think?
Anyway, that was my thinking way back. So I looked a little deeper, desperate to uncover the nudist.
They in fact are nude. Totally nude. Nudists deluxe. Buck-naked. Disrobed. Starkers. Fully in the buff. They’re slimy little sea slugs who shed their shells after the larval stages. So I was only 50% wrong – or 50% right.
The word “branch” comes from the Greek βραγχια, brankhia, meaning gills – which come in very handy if you’re living in the ocean.
Naked gills. Who would’ve figured? Certainly not me. Okay, so I was 100% wrong. Nudibranch got me this time. Maybe I’ll get the next one right. You little underwater nudist you.