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Megafauna vs. Microcritters: Which Is More Popular?

The two go head-to-head to “settle” the debate.
By Patrick Webster | Created On November 27, 2023
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Megafauna vs. Microcritters: Which Is More Popular?

Between charismatic megafauna and captivating microcritters, each dive turns into a competition for attention—but who will win?

Patrick Webster

We interrupt your Scuba Diving magazine browsing to take you live to the Dive Resort Ambassador Popularity Contest, where a sea lion and a shrimp have taken the podium to argue on behalf of their respective parties.

Sea Lion for Megafauna: Listen folks, the Instagram metrics don’t lie. We charismatic megafauna have always had and will continue to garner the most engagement.

Shrimp for Microcritters: Pandering to the vertebrates isn’t truly representing the ocean to our clientele. Why, my sea lion colleague here is just a land bear in a mermaid disguise. They even haul out on the daily! Are we divers or are we surfacers?

Sea Lion: Come on. Megafauna are the backbone of ocean marketing, full stop. Our shark and other chondrichthyan representatives would like to remind everyone of their 400 million-plus years of commitment to the ocean platform, with global recognition, viral success, limitless merchandising opportunities…

Shrimp: You see, folks, it’s all marketing with them, all to mask their true intentions of total marine-attention domination. But you want to talk about commitment? Look at us: coral, shrimp, octopus, salp—not a “sea” modifier in sight. Them? Sea lions, sea cows, sea turtles, sea snakes, sea otters, “sea” this, “sea” that. Evolutionary regrets, anyone?

Sea Lion: Please. We’re the mammalian memory makers!

Related Reading: Scuba Diving With Sea Lions: Discover the World's Most Playful Marine Animal

Patrick Webster

Shrimp: Is that so? Folks, what do you remember more from your time in the ocean? The big beastie you paid all that money to go and see for a split second, or the jelly stings you got while you were waiting for that fleeting dive diva? We represent the truly memorable aquatic adventures: the stepped-on urchins, brushed-against fire corals and thumbsplitting mantis shrimps

Sea Lion: Aha! So you admit that some of your members can rub people the wrong way?

Related Reading: Why We’re Suckers for Becoming an Octopus’s Student

Shrimp: Uh, well… We have to stand up for ourselves! People will see a thousand of us and only mention the one their buddy maybe kind of saw off in the distance. We demand representation beyond random stickers and discounted kid-size shirts in the gift store.

Sea Lion: We suppose we could talk to the brand people…

Shrimp: We’ll do it ourselves! Dear Reader—yes, you there. What are the most memorable critter encounters you’ve had? Did they have a backbone? Remember: We said memorable, not necessarily enjoyable.

Tag @scubadivingmag and #MegaVsMicroCritters; we want to hear your stories!

This has been a check-in on the Dive Resort Ambassador Popularity Contest. We now return you to your regularly scheduled readings.