that really freaks people out. Is it their teeth, their dead-man’s stare, their snake-like appearance? I was once cleaning Rangali’s underwater restaurant when one (admittedly huuuuuge) giant moray literally chased one of the Maldivian staff out of the water- I blew 50bar laughing.
Morays in general have horrible vision- if they wore glasses they’d need something like a minus 400 prescription. Instead they use their sense of smell to hunt small fishes at night. During the day they hang out in crevices or in caves. Because they are stationary for many hours they have developed ‘spiracles’ which are small openings in the side of the throat which allow oxygen to go straight to the brain. By opening and closing their mouths, morays can pull water across their gills. Stingrays and some sharks which can sit for hours also have spiracles and even insects have them.
Morays are not to be feared but like all big animals with teeth, respect should be given. Morays react only when threatened (or fed). Otherwise they are completely chilled animals.
We also saw the banded snake eel out and about which was very cool- they mimic poisonous sea-snakes but are in fact harmless. Apparently the only way to tell them apart is that the eels have a visible fin… and snakes need to come up for air.