The Sailor’s Eyeball, Bubble Algae, or Sea Pearl (Valonia ventricosa) is the largest single-celled algae in the world and one of the largest single-celled organisms on the planet. They can grow up to 5cm in diameter as just ONE cell. If you consider the human eye is around 2.4cm in diameter and has on average 4.5 million cone cells, and that’s not even the whole eye! (Curcio et al. 1990).
This individual algae has a thick outer membrane that shines like glass and is filled with a green plasma, when in direct light they resemble a marble. This is also a great survival adaptation as many herbivores can’t bite through the tough membrane. If they do manage a nibble the plasma inside plugs the hole and prevents the bubble from bursting. It is a little jewel hidden under rock and coral of Soneva Fushi House reef.
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