A Turtle Tale: Underwater Spa for Turtles Will Leave You Jealous

Sea creatures in Hawaii seem to be loving the spa business – and they don’t pay a single dime for it!

News Videos
1 min read

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar


Sea creatures in Hawaii seem to be loving the spa business. Nature indeed has its own way of maintaining life and the ecosystem.

These bright yellow fish offer sea turtles a swim-thru valet service – congregating to help clean the dirt from their shells.

A school of both yellow tangs and yellow-eyed kole tangs group together to form a ‘feeding station’ in the colorful reef waiting for green turtles to come by for cleaning.

Once the green turtle arrives, the fish eat algae and parasites off the turtle, cleaning the shell while filling themselves up at the same time.


Cleaning the shell reduces friction in the water for the turtle, making it easier to swim as well as improving the turtle’s health.

The symbiotic service was filmed in Puako Reef, off the Big Island in Hawaii, by wildlife and underwater photographer Deana Whittemore, 57, and her husband Aaron, 61 in Nov 2017.

Puako reef has a very healthy coral reef, and a healthy ecosystem with lots of wildlife. The green sea turtles enter cleaning stations to be cleaned by the yellow tangs and the yellow-eyed kole tangs. This symbiotic relationship benefits both the turtles and the reef fish. We always feel blessed and fortunate when we are able to witness such exciting and awesome encounters.
Deana Whittemore, Photographer

Most importantly these turtle are availing the services for free while we pay thousands. Feeling jealous yet?

(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to and hit Send.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from videos and news-videos

Topics:  Hawaii   Nature   Turtles 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More