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About The Book

About the book

Reflections Underwater explores a dazzling variety of concepts relating to coral reefs. It’s for anyone who has an intellectual interest in this beautiful, unique habitat and adds a layer of exploration to the coral reef experience. 


By taking a holistic, multi-disciplinary perspective, Reflections Underwater weaves together scientific and humanistic ideas, including psychology, evolution, zoology, philosophy, mathematics, art, physics and more.


Reflections Underwater is made up of nine standalone chapters that can be read in any order, and answer questions such as:


  • Why are we so attracted to water and colorful reefs?

  • Are coral reefs a superorganism?

  • Why are reefs so colorful?

  • How did cleaning station symbiosis evolve?

  • Why is sex a death sentence for octopuses?

  • Do reef animals have consciousness?

  • Is the origin of the octopus cosmic or terrestrial?

  • How did warning coloration evolve?

  • How does the golden ratio manifest itself in coral reefs?

  • What are some non-conventional reproduction strategies among reef animals?

  • What are some extraordinary prey and defense mechanisms in the coral reef? 

  • And more

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Interview with the author for Oceanographic Magazine

Book Review by Caitlin Richards- Caribbean Compass Magazine

Book Review by Mike Elliot- The Marine Biologist Magazine

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For more than a quarter of a century, Oded Degany has been an avid diver and underwater photographer, documenting his encounters with the creatures that make up coral reefs. His has a multi-disciplinary background which includes a BA in physics, an MA in biological thought, an MBA, and a partial doctorate in anthropology and religious studies.

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"Truly original books about coral reefs are rare. Oded Degany’s Reflections Underwater has produced a valuable and fresh addition to the literature covering this incredible ecosystem. The book both educates the reader and encourages you to engage with the subject matter, both classic paradigms and original thinking. The engaging text is lavishly illustrated with the authors colourful images of reef habitats and species. A valuable contribution and a must have for any coral reef enthusiast."

Dr. Alex Mustard


"This is a book that you should read if you want to be amazed anew at the richness of the coral reef, to discover new ways to think of it, to see it as you probably have never seen it before....this book’s ability to describe the science underlying the reef in a humanistic way is refreshing and intriguing."

Prof. David Fortus

The Chief Justice Bora Laskin Professorial Chair of Science Teaching

Weizmann Institute of Science

"... this book not only provides you with well-told and illustrated facts about nature but, in fact, strives to challenge and provoke you to think.....Whether you are an expert in some field of marine science, a well-traveled and experienced diver who knows a lot about this environment, or a “newbie” interested in the underwater world, I am sure this book introduced you to some new and fascinating ideas and phenomena." 

Tom Shlesinger, PhD

Marine Ecologist

Institute for Global Ecology, Florida Institute of Technology, Florida, USA

"This book takes the reader on an exceptional journey. Being personal and intuitive, yet detailed and scientifically sound, it allows one to dwell deep into a topic and the science behind it, yet stay connected and inspired by the complexity and wonders of coral reefs."

Prof. Nadav Shashar

 Marine Biologist and Coral Reefs restorer

Ben Gurion University of the Negev

"You don't have to be a diving enthusiast to enjoy the book in front of you, but there is a chance that when you finish reading it, you will sign up for such a course. Coral reefs are areas with the greatest diversity of animals on Earth. The author writes about them from an acquaintance acquired by years of diving and photographing coral reefs backed by reading professional literature, and the result is fascinating."


Sara Schwartz, Phd

The 'Biological Thought' program for advanced studies

Department of Natural Sciences, The Open University of Israel

 "Degany’s is a fascinating approach... Someone who can take a subject and come at it from so many different angles and offer so much insight without ever telling the reader, or student, what to think, is rare."

Caitlin Richards, Caribbean Compass

"The polymath background of Oded Degany in physics and the philosophy of biology, in diving and photography and a career in corporate management shines through this excellent book... All marine biologists will get something from this book and, although it is not a textbook, there is certainly enough to stimulate zoologists and make all think out of the box."

Mike Elliot, The Marine Biologist


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