See The Galapagos Marine Iguana Look Like An Underwater Godzilla

Written by Katie Melynn Wood
Published: November 25, 2022
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If the Godzilla movie was set in an underwater world, Hollywood executives wouldn’t need to look hard to find the perfect star. The Galapagos Marine Iguana is the only sea-going iguana and lives only in the Galapagos Islands.

The video begins with a shot of the iguana‘s silhouette. While it looks majestic, watching it move on land shows how awkward this creature is out of its preferred habitat. But this iguana is graceful and strong when it goes underwater to eat algae. But, it lives on land, where it basks in the sun, reproduces, and spends much of its time.

The iguana ventures around tidal pools before splashing into the water beyond. As it begins to swim, the iguana moves its body from side to side. Its arms are tucked tight against its sides, with visible claws.

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Swimming comes naturally for this iguana. It dives down, and its tail streams behind. The iguana uses its arms and legs to navigate around rocks while it moves its body to swim.

Marine Iguana

Marine Iguanas are herbivores that feed mostly on algae.

©Andy Deitsch/

What Do Galapagos Marine Iguanas Eat?

These iguanas go underwater to find their favorite food: algae. In the video, the iguana picks pieces of algae off rocks with its mouth. It uses its hands to push off and pull around the rocks to search for the tastiest morsels.

Fortunately for this animal, there is no shortage of algae in its underwater environment. It tilts its head to the side for a better bite as it eats. Pieces of algae float in the water around it, broken loose by the iguana and the ocean.

Once the iguana is done, it swims back to the surface and climbs out of the water. Like other reptiles, Galapagos Marine Iguanas are cold-blooded and spend a lot of time basking in the sun to regulate their body temperature. The iguana dives back down for seconds when he’s ready for another bite.

The video shows many close-up shots of the iguana, from its scaley skin and dark and bony spikes extending along his spine. He has a long tail, almost as long as his entire head and torso combined. At the end of his meal, the iguana returns to the tide pools and finds a cozy place to rest.

The calming music of the video highlights the graceful nature of these animals. While they may appear awkward on land, they are a sight to behold underwater.

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Andy Deitsch/

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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