Extraordinary Underwater Amputees
In our language as the American public, we refer to anyone missing a limb as an "amputee", despite whether the limb is missing from birth or due to an actual amputation.
There are many opportunities for amputees and other disabled persons for scuba diving. Many scuba shops also offer trips specifically for these divers to amazing places like the Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico. Read to the end if you want to know more!
Underwater: There Are No Limits
In our video, we feature both a Hawksbill Turtle (Amelia), born without one flipper and a Caribbean Reef Octopus that has lost several limbs due to (likely) an encounter with an eel. Both animals exhibit beauty and awe as they move underwater, proving that underwater, there are no limits!
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Amelia has been reported by local divers as being a turtle that is often seen around the reefs in Cozumel, Mexico. She is noted not only by her missing front flipper, but her remarkable coloring on her carapace. Green sea turtles have unique identifying marks on their face and head, just as we have unique fingerprints. Hawksbill sea turtles will have a sharp beak-shaped mouth, four colored plates between their eyes, and 4 lateral scutes across the shell. This defines Amelia as a Hawksbill. The placement of these marks is what makes this Hawskbill, Amelia.
Caribbean Reef Octopus
Though this particular octopus has not been given a known name, our video's octopus can be identified by his size and order of missing limbs. At least for a little while - Octopus will actually regrow their arms, making them an animal of interest for limb regrowth in humans and other animals. So while he may be identifiable by his limb arrangement now, this octopus may not be recognizable as he is today once his arms grow back.
Animals are Amazing
Each animal featured in today's video might be called "disabled" or "an amputee" or "different" as we try to label the familiarity between humans and wild animals. The truth is, neither of these animals display any different behavior in their daily lives on the reef. They are wild, they are free, and we may be inspired and awed as we enjoy them as scuba divers.
If you are interested in learning more about scuba diving, contact your local dive shop to try scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming. If you are interested in learning more about diving with accessibility challenges and other programs, contact your local dive shop or Dive Heart to find a shop able to assist you.
Go Diving. See Cool Stuff.