Remora are a type of sucker fish that can grow up to two and a half feet long. They have a distinct oval disk used to suck to sharks, whales, turtles, and other large animals in the water. The larger animal provides protection while getting cleaned. I swam with a turtle that had one and the remora would move from the top to under the turtle depending on where I was.
They also attach themself to boats as you can see from this photo under the Guiding Light. Interesting fact, In Latin, remora means “delay”, while the genus name Echeneis comes from Greek words echein (“to hold”) and naus (“a ship”). This is because in ancient times, the remora was believed to stop a ship from sailing.
Sometimes while at anchor there will be one or two attached to the bottom of the boat. When guest through some food out they swim out and get the food. All of a sudden my guest are screaming “shark”. I tell them it is simply a remora, but they don’t believe me. They insist it is a shark. I then ask if the “shark” has what looks like a boot print on its forehead and they say yes. I then re-inform them that it is a remora and are not dangerous. 🙂
Another funny story about them is when I was anchored off the Soggy Dollar in White Bay on Jost Van Dyke in the BVI. My guests were ashore partying and I jumped into the water to scrub the bottom. i was underwater wearing a mask and snorkel scrubbing away when a remora swam up and tried to attach to my back. I shrugged him off, but he kept trying. I finally gave up and climbed back aboard the boat. persistent little suckers. Haha.