The Red Sea is one of the planet's most picturesque yet alien stretches of water. Whilst there is more to this body of water than just plate tectonics, this long, thin, and surprisingly deep inlet of the Indian Ocean is slowly growing more expansive as the Persian Gulf moves away from the African continent.
As this grand geological effort is played out, the mixture of precipitous depths and the shallow undersea shelves that border the shores continuously result in the blossoming of rich marine ecosystems that any visitor can tour.
Due to the one-of-a-kind undersea geography that characterizes the Red Sea, the depths are brimming with biodiversity. Corals thrive in warm, highly saline water, and this sea, which exhibits some of the highest salt levels of any large body of water, forms a perfect environment within which they can grow.
Soma Bay, and the surrounding areas, are blessed with vast stretches of coral reefs. The House Reef, a several-kilometre-long bit of bright corals, is near the bay itself. Head south by boat, divers will find the Tubya Arbaa and Gamul Saghira reefs. These monumental natural wonders stretch up, column-like, from the sandy sea floor and are covered in corals, the colours of which are incredibly vibrant. Soft and hard corals populate the area, and these menageries of polyps are a haven for all marine wildlife.
The undersea wildlife of the Soma Bay region is sure to set alight the passions of any diving enthusiast. Beginners will be enthralled when they catch glimpses of the enormous napoleon fish and potato cods, and seeing a group of softly swooping eagle rays is unbeatable.
Many divers will be treated to a swim with a lionfish – a weird and wonderful creature whose many extruding spines, while beautiful, are venomous! Moray eels snaking their way around the coral outcrops, multi-coloured starfish dotting the landscape, and the ever-awesome spectacle of the blue spotted rays – a species whose azure spots catch the light and glow neon – make Soma Bay a diver's paradise.