To celebrate Cupid’s arrival, we shine a spotlight on weird and wonderful undersea affections in the loved-up ocean.

Heart of the ocean

From the shape of reefs to octopuses (who have three), hearts are aplenty in the big blue. Here are more of Mother Nature’s most charming gestures:

Sardine love...

When the ocean says, ‘I love you’. Photo by Jun V Lao in Moalboal

Benmack_’ recommends Callala Beach, Plantation Point or Orion Beach for the best chances of spotting these loved-up locals.

Forget Paris, what about Tonga for the world’s most romantic spot?

These feathery worms date back to the Early Jurassic — now that’s a tale as old as time!

We adore this marriage of sunlight and bubbles.

First dates

Talking of quirky underwater couplings, the ocean has plenty. Some are beautiful and enchanting. Others are just plain odd.

Gifts: Some penguins search for the perfect pebble to impress their mate, while dolphins have been known to be very selective about sponges.

Love songs: When humming tunes, whales are usually trying to attract females. Sometimes they’re having a ‘James Corden rap battle’ to ward off competition.

Catfishing: Male cuttlefish disguised as females sneak past other males before mating with the (real) ladies. But when fighting is the only option, it can turn rather ugly.

Roomies: Venus’ flower basket is a glass sponge that (literally) provides a forever-home to shrimp couples. The young male and female co-exist inside, but eventually grow too large to ever leave.

Balloons: Male Hooded seals intimidate rivals and entice females by blowing a giant pink balloon out of their nose. Enough said.

Unrequited love: First dates don’t always go to plan. Sometimes, they end really badly. Like this male octopus, who’s advances are met with… strangulation and cannibalism.

Taking the plunge

Underwater love isn’t limited to flora, fauna and Smoke City. Divers who can’t get enough of the ocean — or each other — have been busy tying knots (and setting records) below the surface:

  • The largest underwater wedding was August 2011 in Poland, with a total of 303 divers. The happy couple and priest communicated with slates and sign language.
  • In September 2013, the deepest wedding earned its record at 130m (426ft) in Thailand. The bride, groom and three friends had spent 6 months preparing for the 190-minute dive.
  • In September 2015, PADI Dive Center owner and guest blogger, Alexandra Dimitriou, finned down her Bahamian aisle alongside 40 sharks and PADI’s Sascha Engeler.

One PADI Instructor has even developed a Distinctive Specialty course on the subject!

And, if you’re single? We’ll finish with one piece of advice:

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