Kelp Forest, San Clemente Island

By February 7, 2005July 15th, 2021California, San Clemente Island, Underwater Life

Seen here is the upper 20′ of a giant kelp forest. The kelp grows from the ocean floor, 30-100′ below, all the way to the surface where it continues growing, spreading out to form a canopy. This species of kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, is the world’s fastest growing plant (if you want to consider this algae a plant), growing over 2′ per day in ideal conditions. The kelp is buoyed upward in the water by clusters of pneumatocysts, gas-filled bladders at the base of each leaf-like blade.

Kelp forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island

Kelp forest.
Image ID: 04660
Species: Giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera
Location: San Clemente Island, California, USA

A museum client has licensed this image for a 7′ x 10′ museum metal wall display. Magnet-backed life size photos of kelp forest creatures will be placed by kids on the wall. It sounds like it will be a cool exhibit.

San Clemente Island, California, USA.

Keywords: kelp forest photo, giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente island, underwater, diving, photograph.

About Phil Colla

I am a natural history photographer. I enjoy making compelling images in the ocean, on land, and in the air. I have maintained the Natural History Photography blog since 2005 and my searchable Natural History Photography Library since 1997. Here are some tear sheets and behind the scenes views. Thanks for looking!