As a teenager, I used to love to snorkel. I would spend hours in the water off of popular Southern California beaches including Corona del Mar, Laguna, and La Jolla. I was absolutely mesmerized by the underwater environment. The swaying kelp forests, the curious bright orange Garibaldi fish, spiny sea urchins and stinging anemones, the shy and elusive octopus, the somewhat menacing moray eel, and the occasional circling leopard shark. In fact, I was so often in the water that my mom made me a divers flag to display from a larger inner tube that I used as my in-water base camp. After swimming past the breakers, I would dive down 20 or 30 feet to tie off a rope attached to my float. The beauty, strangeness, and marvel of the under sea world so captivated me that, before I knew it, the whole day had passed and it was time to swim to shore and go home. All that night, I would feel like I was still floating on the water and would dream of the swaying kelp and the vivid underwater colors.
Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird—each producing offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” Genesis 1:20-23
Why did God make fish and other sea creatures on Day 5 of the creation week? Well, we could list many reasons, such as food for man and other parts of God's creation, organisms to help keep the ecosystem in balance, water filtering organisms, and scavengers to remove detritus. But, not only did God build in practical usefulness and functionality into His creation, He did it in a way that displayed His awesome creativity. He used these in-water creatures as His divine art pallet. Let's take a closer look at some of God's underwater art pallet.
Comb Jellies move through the water with tiny hair-like cilia. They appear to pulsate in the water; however they do not actually emit light but the pulsing rainbow light is actually light diffraction caused by the moving cilia. They are very fragile animals; so much so, that one researcher described them as "barely organized water."
God gave neon tetra a bright neon blue color so that they will stand out in the dark waters of the Amazon Jungle. Their distinctive blue shine helps them to find other members of their species in waters where little light penetrates.
Snake River Fine-spotted Cutthroat Trout:
One of the most beautiful (and tasty) trout I have every caught was taken at the base of the Teton Mountain Range and the outlet of Jackson Lake Dam in Wyoming. This trout gets its name from the distinctive red stripe below its gill and mouth area. Rainbow trout have a silver hue, but these cutthroats have a gold color. They almost look like gold foil. Note that, although they are a beautiful fish, God provided these fish with an excellent camouflage for their environment. The speckles help them to blend into the pebbly river bottoms. Notice that the top of their bodies have more speckles. A soaring bald eagle will have to be very observant to spot them. The lighter underbelly helps them to blend into the light water surface above them to help these fish to escape being noticed by a predator that is below them. You will notice that even their color blends in with the color of the rocks.
Sometimes God gave animals and plants a bright color that tells would be predators to - Beware! The California Garibaldi that makes its home in the kelp forests is one such example. This fish is very visible but is also very territorial and a bit aggressive to other fish and to curious divers. God also provided the juvenile Garibaldi with distinctive iridescent blue spots. Some marine biologists believe the blue spots help aggressive adults to know that this is a juvenile and to allow them to excuse territorial trespassing by the "kids" who don't know any better.
Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them. Psalm 69:34
God could have made the underwater world gray, dark, and mysterious ... and sometimes it is exactly that way, especially on a cloudy day. But then comes a splash of color, sunlight penetrating the darkness, and, suddenly, God's wonderful water color pallet is on display in glorious living color.