Lundy has many apparently barren sandy plains, superficially these look like submerged deserts, although nothing could actually be less accurate.
The sandy seafloor surrounding Lundy is home to numerous highly adapted and bizarre-looking creatures. Many spend their entire adult lives on, or more often in, the sand.
One square metre of sand has been found to contain as many as 2,500 creatures (of 80 different species). Sea potatoes (actually sea urchins,) razor shell, flat fish, sand stars (cannibalistic starfish) and swimming crabs live here but can be very difficult to spot.
At depth, many of the animals that live in sand are extremely well camouflaged and are easily overlooked by divers, but a few minutes spent watching for these curious inhabitants can be surprisingly rewarding.
Twice a day the tide recedes, giving us a glimpse of some of the marine life that can be found on our doorstep.
The shore environment that becomes exposed with the falling tide is known as the intertidal zone and it is one of the harshest environments in which to survive. On the shore, different plants and animals have had to adapt to a huge range of environmental stresses, like drying out in the sunshine. All are highly specific or specialised as to where they can grow, so often clearly defined zones are apparent on the shore. This is known as zonation. Rock pooling is a great way to begin exploring our amazing marine environment.