Moray Eels are common on coral reefs. With over 200 species, they vary in size and color. Morays secrete a protective mucus over their smooth, scaleless skin, which in some species contains a toxin. On popular divesites they are custom to divers and may seem truly friendly. Some places they swim around you and you can pet them, but I have also been in two situations where they are very aggressive. Some species become quite large so with the rows of sharp teeth and massive strength, it is potentially very dangerous. Many years ago, in the Red Sea, a large moray eel attacked a fellow diver and it was just a miracle he was not hurt.

When photographing I always try to get as close as possible. When they are in the comfort of a hole in the reef where they can retreat, they seem more calm and disappear when they feel threatened. When meeting them out in the open, I try not to chase them too much because they usually seem more uneasy.
This photo is from St Lucia, Caribbean. Wonderful creature to meet in the wild. 
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