When you snorkel around in the Red Sea, you can safely enjoy everything you see. As long as you do not try to touch anything. – Not even the “dead” bottom or “dead” rocks. They might very well be alive!
Scorpion fish and Stonefish are not easy to see! So, be aware when putting your feet down. Even in the shallow water. It is thus recommended that you always use some kind of shoes or fins to protect yourself when entering or getting out of the water.
The very spiny Lionfish is not inviting you to pet it. And do not try to! They know that their spines are unpleasant, and if you come too near, they will stretch thieir spines towards you …
If you are familiar with flat fish, you may consider touching the rays. BUT the Bluespotted Stingray can – as the name hints – sting! On the base of the tail they have a spine, and they are quick at whipping this towards you if you come too near.
But it goes for all of the poisonous fish, that they are not agressively trying to get to you. It is a self-defense mechanism, they will turn to, if YOU get too near. If you come within a certain distance, they see you as a threat to them. The poisonous spines are a “attack-is-the-best-self-defence” tactic in these species. All the other animals know this (or will quickly learn it the hard way!), so they are used to, that larger animals stay clear.