Deepwater Whip Coral, Japan

Photograph by Brian Skerry, National Geographic

What looks like a tangle of gnarled cables is in fact a forest of deepwater whip coral in Suruga Bay. Each strand is studded with feeding polyps that reach tiny tentacles into the currents to grab floating food.

See more pictures from the November 2010 feature story "3 Degrees of Japan’s Seas."

What Made This a Photo of the Day

I love how the diver is hovering in the deep green expanse, at the edge of this wild tangle of coral, like the explorer of an alien territory as forbidding as it is beautiful. —Alexa Keefe, Photo of the Day editor