Borneo From Below

Underwater Videos of Borneo, Sabah and Sipadan

Come and discover the rumble beneath the jungle! Borneo From Below is a series devoted entirely to Borneo’s beautiful marine environment. Each weekly online episode will showcase the region’s incredible underwater inhabitants. Along with this, Borneo From Below will investigate major environmental issues such as shark finning, fish bombing and the trade in endangered wildlife. Each short, fun, inspiring and informative episode will also feature photographic tips and techniques.

29 Episodes


Banded sea snakes (Laticauda colubrina) are one of the most venomous creatures in the ocean.

Sea gypsies catch crazy crustaceans!

A burrowing stomatopod caused quite a stir on the internet recently. It all started with a feature by the popular cartoon, the Oatmeal, who appeared rather enamored with this plucky crustacean. The rest of the world were fascinated, as the diving community raised a collective, knowing nod: we told you so. If they’d have listened to us before, we’d have told them the mantis shrimp is far from shrimpy. In fact, it’s not even a shrimp at all. And it’s hard – double hard – pound for pound one of the hardest animals around.

Mantis shrimps are either “smashers” or “spearers”. Smashers are capable of striking their prey with the speed of a bullet, causing the surrounding water to bubble and boil.

If you were to fight one and blink, it would have smashed you 500 times in the face before your eyelid reached its destination. Which brings us nicely to their eye system.

ot only can each peeper move independently, but some mantis shrimps carry 16 types of colour receptive cones, compared to a human’s measly 3. Plus they’re capable of seeing in both UV and polarised light. Suddenly us homo sapiens appear a little feeble.

Add in the fact that mantis shrimps are often curious, some mate for life, they’re extravagantly coloured and keep eggs in their forelimbs… and you’ve got every diver’s wet dream. Strong, romantic, maternal and beautiful: what’s not to love?

Unfortunately some people like them a little too much and mantis shrimp is being served up around parts of Asia. But what’s so unusual about that? If it moves and lives in the ocean, we eat it. What makes this an interesting story is the way they are caught and then sold.

A walk around Semporna, a fishing town on the eastern coast of Malaysian Borneo, reveals tanks full of mantis shrimps, stuffed into bottles. Outside the eateries they are served up to – one can only assume – non-diving customers.

But how did the crustaceans make their way into the bottles? Was it a magic trick, like those miniature ships that puzzled us as kids? And how were these burrowing beauties caught?

Inside the bottles were enigmas, wrapped in a mystery…the perfect story to pursue. In Episode 4 of our online series, director Will and I head to Scuba Junkie on Mabul Island to dive with a resident giant mantis shrimp and take a look at what makes it so interesting. Afterwards we go on board with a local Bajau (aka sea gypsy) fisherman as he uses some primitive, yet effective methods to catch one. And finally we travel to Semporna’s waterfront to see the local mantis shrimp trade in action.

Sipadan: the best day’s diving on Earth

24 hours at Jacques Cousteau’s favourite dive spot! With its huge schools of jackfish, bumphead parrotfish, sharks, turtles, plus the famous torpedoing barracuda, Sipadan tops many diver’s bucket list. Now, thanks to Borneo From Below, you can dive it from the comfort of your own home!…

World First! Divers Discover Psychedelic Mutant Two Headed Sea Slug Off the Coast of Borneo


Contact us to Book your Borneo Diving Trip Today.