Cook Islands: Rarotonga – Peacock Flounder

Here is an amazing fish that I chased underwater for a good half-hour. The peacock flounder has an amazing ability to camouflage. It has both eyes on one side of its flat body and the eyes can move 360 and completely independent of each other. The flounder usually lies at the bottom of shallow sandy coastal strips completely adopting the colors of the surrounding sand. Their camouflage ability (or cryptic coloration as it’s known) are far more advanced than that of a chameleon – peacock flounder can chance color in just 8 seconds, almost exactly replicating the environment (in fact when it was laid on a chess board, it turned pure checkerboard pattern). I hardly even noticed the fish at first but when I made him move, he changed his color and displayed true white spotted body while swimming around.