A Beautiful Tragedy




LOCATION: Papua New Guinea

STORY: “For my entire career, I had been looking for the elusive white anemones that I had seen in a Nat Geo magazine as a kid. I found the contrast between the gaudy guise of the clownfish and the ghostly background of the white anemone to be absolutely stunning. And it took over 15 years of searching to find them. Since it was so rare and sparsely documented, scientists had not yet made the connection between the white anemones and the more well studied ‘coral bleaching’ phenomenon. In my career, I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the brightest minds in marine biology and ecology, and the images and data collected during this period have been instrumental in efforts to understand why this happens. And, I’m happy to report that within two months, whereas much of the stony coral was still suffering, all 8 of the bleached anemones that I had located had fully recovered, and returned to their natural metallic green color.” –Gug