Rosh Hankra tide pool close Rosh Hankra tide pool close A close-up view of a tide pool off the coast of Rosh Hanikra in Achziv National Park. (Photo: Roni Ben Ishay / Shutterstock)

9 terrific tide pools across the globe

These tiny ecosystems scatter across coastlines from the Pacific Northwest to the Mediterranean Sea.

If you’ve ever walked along the beach and seen a rocky pool filled by the tide, it’s more than just a coincidence. Tide pools are more than just puddles — they’re entire ecosystems that depend on the ebb and flow of the ocean.

While tide pools differ widely around the world, most have some variety of anemone, sea star, shellfish, sponges and plants. The vibrant life that exists within these pools can only thrive in high and low tide zones, while tide pools that dry out usually only foster lichens and barnacles.

Tide pools offer a fun opportunity for the whole family to explore and learn more about marine life and ecosystems in general, as they exist in the intertidal zone of the ocean, squarely between the shore and the deeper, less accessible parts of the ocean.

Looking through the clear, shallow water, each pool is a unique habitat. Here are just a few from around the world:

Solomon Island tide poolsThe waters of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean are ecologically diverse, home to tide pools filled with marine life. (Photo: Ethan Daniels/Shutterstock)

Australia tide poolsA community of rock pools in Bateau Bay in New South Wales, Australia. (Photo: Edward Haylan/Shutterstock)

Tide pools at Achziv National park Each pool along the coast of Achziv National Park in Israel offers a different insight into the workings of ocean life. (Photo: irisphoto1/Shutterstock)

Kaikoura tide poolsA seal colony and whale watching area, Kaikoura on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island is also home to beatiful rock pools. (Photo: Nigel Spears/Shutterstock)

Olympic peninsula tide poolsThe tide pools along the coast of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington are filled with shellfish and barnacles. (Photo: Ethan Daniels/Shutterstock)

Low tide at Mexico's Puerto PenascoThe algae-covered rocks at Mexico's Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) provide sustenance for all kinds of marine animals. (Photo: Douglas Greenwald/Shutterstock)

Dor Habonim beach tide poolThe tide pool at Dor Habonim in Israel is a place where children can observe marine life up close. (Photo: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock)

Vancouver Island tide poolsBotanical Beach on Vancouver Island in Canada's British Columbia is home to many vibrant tide pools. (Photo: 2009fotofriends/Shutterstock)

Trearddur Bay tide poolsAt dusk at Trearddur Bay on the island of Anglesey in North Wales, the tide pools are still and quiet. (Photo: Andrew Astbury/Shutterstock)

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9 terrific tide pools across the globe
These tiny ecosystems scatter across coastlines from the Pacific Northwest to the Mediterranean Sea.