What's a red sea fan?

Red sea fans (Paramuricea clavata), are colonial organisms related to corals. They form a semirigid structure shaped as a fan about 50cm tall. Their colour can vary from being completely red, to have also yellow tips or being completely yellow. Each of the little” flowers” that grow on it are actually mouths that are used for catching food. These sea fans need a hard substratum to catch on to: either a cliff or a flat rock. In the northern Costa Brava (North of Begur) you find them growing on the wall of underwater cliffs between 20-40m deep. However at La Selva they are found forming forests in the middle of deserts below 48m deep! For scuba divers it is very impressive because it is like swimming above a garden.

  Detail of a branch of P. clavata  

  Detail of the polyps of P. clavata  

And now, what about a relaxing swim among one of these forests of red sea fans?