* Photo by John Burville. Diving Mecca: A Nemo lookalike clownfish nestles in to its home — a sea anemone.
* Photo by John Burville. Diving Mecca: A Nemo lookalike clownfish nestles in to its home — a sea anemone.
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If Walt Disney had created an underwater wonderland of colourful fish it may have looked a little something like the dive sites of Indonesia.

At least, that's the opinion of diver and photographer John Burville. He is giving a slideshow presentation tonight of his underwater photographs following several diving holidays to Indonesia.

Mr. Burville hopes the lecture at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, called Underwater Wonderland - Diving Indonesia, attracts many young attendees.

"It is an amazing area of the world," Mr. Burville said. "I wanted to call it Underwater Disney, firstly to attract the kids and also because some of the fish are so cartoonish in their colours that they look as if they could only have been created by Disney.

"One of the fish there you would swear someone had said, 'take some buckets of paint and throw them on that fish'."

He added: "It's so much fun talking to the youth with all of their giggling, smiling and the strange questions they have."

As an avid diver, John took up underwater photography in 2000.

Since then he has taken the opportunity to dive many beautiful locations, such as Belize, Cayman, Galapagos, Cocos, Socorro, Lembeh Straits, Wakatobi (Indonesia) and, of course, Bermuda. John's favourite spot for photos is Indonesia, which he has visited six times in the past seven years - often with his son and wife who are also diving enthusiasts.

The sea life in Indonesia is very dense, and there are creatures of all sizes and colours. "There are literally thousands of species of fish and coral species in Indonesia, while in Bermuda there might only be a few hundred," Mr. Burville explained. "It has the greatest marine biodiversity on the planet.

"A lot of people just don't know about the kind of diversity of marine life we have out there."

Mr. Burville has to whittle down more than 15,000 photos for tonight's 60-minute presentation.

He says his greatest area of interest is in the very smallest underwater inhabitants, which are often discovered through what's known as "muck diving".

"Lembeh, Indonesia is the Mecca of muck diving," Mr. Burville said. "Muck diving is looking for very small things in areas of fine, lava silt, which is black in colour.

"It looks so dirty and mucky but every few feet you find something incredibly interesting such as a juvenile Lion Fish, shrimp or seahorse.

"I am so engrossed by the small things."

Mr. Burville says one of his favourite underwater moments was coming across a mimic octopus, which literally mimics the shape of other sea creatures.

Mr. Burville said: "We must have scared him as he made the shape of a sea snake to try and frighten us off."

The three main topics Mr. Burville will discuss at his slideshow presentation will be basic fish life, how fish have adapted over the years to blend in with their environment and the complexities of fish eyes.

"Fish eyes are fascinating," Mr. Burville said. "A puffer fish looks like it has whole galaxies in its eyes.

"Eyes in some fish have a capacity far superior to humans."

Mr. Burville plans to return to Indonesia this year.

To purchase tickets for Underwater Wonderland - Diving Indonesia call 297-7313. Doors open at 6:30pm with a cash bar and the lecture starts promptly at 7pm in the Tradewinds Auditorium at BUEI. Members pay $15, non-members are $20, children under 16 pay $10. There will also be a buffet dinner after the lecture for $39.75 per person.