We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Tidepooling?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Tidepooling or tide pooling is an outdoor activity which involves visiting the rocky intertidal zone along a coastline. The intertidal zone is the region where the ocean meets the land, meaning that during high tides and rough weather, the area is covered in sea water, and during low tides, the water recedes. As a result, the intertidal zone hosts a number of fascinating organisms which have specifically adapted to the unique conditions that can be found there. When people go tidepooling, they explore the area, looking at the organisms they find and often photographing them.

Rocky coastlines create the conditions for tidepooling, with depressions in the rock forming pools which hold seawater after the ocean recedes, allowing animals to survive until the rising tide floods the area again. Each of these pools can form a microcosm of life, hosting incredibly diverse creatures and seaweed. Tidepooling can be fun for people of all ages, as a number of interesting creatures including limpets, mussels, young crustaceans like crabs, sea anemones, starfish, barnacles, urchins, sea cucumbers, and chitons can be found in tidepools.

When going tidepooling, there are a few things to remember. The first is that the ocean can be dangerous, and it is important to check a tide chart to ensure that you go tidepooling during a period of low tide. It is also a good idea to wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes with good traction to avoid slipping on the rocks, and tidepoolers should always face the ocean, as sneaker waves can pop up at any time. Tidepoolers may also want to carry a nature guide to identify the creatures they see, along with a camera to document the experience.

It is also a good idea to protect the animals in the tidepools. Many of the organisms in tidepools will die if they are exposed to prolonged sunlight, so if you move a rock or a piece of seaweed to see something more clearly, put it back when you are done. Tidepoolers should never try to pry organisms off the rocks, as this can hurt or kill them, and they should watch their step to avoid crushing the animals which call the intertidal zone home.

Looking at marine life on a tidepooling trip can be a great introduction to nature for younger people, as it will undoubtedly pique their interest in what lies deeper in the ocean. It can also be a good starting point for a conversation about conservation and the diversity of life. For older tidepoolers, tidepooling can be an interesting and fun way to get outside for a few hours, and to get acquainted with the life in a place they are visiting, or their own back yard.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All Things Nature researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Orcadeal — On Feb 08, 2014
The first time I went tide pooling, I laughed at the idea of old fuddy-duddies wandering around the reef at low tide holding their nature books. As a teenager who had just moved from the midwest, well I guess I was just too cool for the “slow pursuits” of nature like birdwatching, hunting for rocks, or tide pooling — I just wanted to go SCUBA diving with sharks!

But even with all my teenage apathy, I understood what a fantastic window into the ocean the tidal pool was. I’d never seen an anemone, barnacles, or urchins outside of a textbook (I was amazed when I saw my first starfish move!), not to mention countless fish, crabs and other bizarre alien creatures I’d never heard of or seen before.

Tide pools inspired me to dive, swim, surf, sail, and ultimately pursue a career in oceanography. Even after years of study, the ocean is still full of mystery, but twice a day, tide pools reveal themselves and answer many of our questions.

I can think of no other part of the natural world— not even jungles, volcanoes, asteroids, or jungles — where nature is so perfectly exposed for exploration. I urge you: if you are at the coast and have the time (and follow some of the safety advice in the article), then go explore!

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.