The Balloonfish is typically a shy fish that tends to swim slowly and blend in with the reef or near the ocean floor. If threatened or attacked, it will inflate its body and swim off as fast as possible.
This Balloonfish followed us at a safe distance during a leisurely night dive at 45 feet deep. Although it swam away from us initially when my dive buddy took photographs of other nocturnal critters, the Balloonfish approached us cautiously and seemed curious about our activities underwater this time of night. In reality, it was probably attracted to the tiny fish and shrimp which congregated around our dive lights. Dinner time!
I love how this Balloonfish seemed to just smile at us, maintaining a safe distance, flitting its tiny fins and watching our every movement with its expressive eyes.