Dive with the most fascinating animals under water. Here you can find out which animals you should go diving with and where you can find them.
Your Dive With the Manta Ray
For many years, the manta was considered a sea monster. Ancient societies felt these large, dark, mysterious ocean-dwellers could only manifest from a place of anger. National Geographic even published a hair-raising report in 1919 describing a manta that was said to have wrapped a boat’s anchor chain around it to pull the ship out to the open sea. Fortunately, today the myth of the manta as a monster has been refuted. On the contrary, these “devil rays” are now a favorite among divers.
Where to Dive With Manta Rays
Mantas live in temperate, tropical, and subtropical ocean waters. They prefer to stay close to the coast; you will rarely meet a manta far out over deep water. Most of these rays swim near the surface, preferring a depth between 0 and 30 meters where their food of choice, plankton, is most abundant.
Mantas are known to come close to reefs when they are foraging. You can see them soaring over reefs as they feed or when they stop to visit cleaning stations, where you can observe several mantas at a time practicing their personal hygiene.
Your Dive With the Whale Shark
A little luck and a lot of advanced planning is the only way to dive with a whale shark, as seeing these big plankton-eaters is rare. Even Jacques Cousteau saw only two in the first 20 years of his expeditions. The biggest fish in the sea, these sharks live in all tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world’s oceans. The largest documented whale shark measured 12.18 meters. These gentle giants move slow and steady through the water with a maximum speed of only 5 km/h.
Where to Dive With Whale Sharks
Whale sharks can dive deep but are easiest to find while filter feeding at the surface. Because these massive sharks move slowly and calmly through the water, it makes snorkeling and diving with them an extraordinary experience. Most times, you can get up next to them and swim right alongside them. Since whale shark’s favorite food is krill, you have the best chance of seeing them if you plan your vacation to areas where krill blooms will be happening. Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia gives you one of the best opportunities for diving with whale sharks. The largest collection of them is documented here during the coral spawning season.
Your Great White Shark Dive
Many divers dream of meeting a great white, but much more hope never to swim across its path. It is true; the great white shark still has an image problem. However, it has long been proven that they are not monsters with an appetite for humans. There are only four locations worldwide where you can go cage diving with great white sharks. These great white expeditions book up years in advance, however, so make sure you plan ahead!
The Truth About the Great White Shark
Hollywood has helped create an image of the great white shark being a ruthless killer in the minds of most people. The truth is that great white sharks often only eat every 4 to 8 weeks; hardly the image of a greedy monster. The high-fat content of their favorite prey, seals and sea lions, helps them through the lean times. In fact, these amazing hunters should be more afraid of humans than we are of them, as populations continue to decline.
Diving with Dolphins
Hardly any marine animal conjures up such strong emotions of empathy and fascination within humans as dolphins. They exude a pure zest for life, evident every time they playfully swim through the water and jump in the air. They are extremely intelligent, even if it is disputed how high this should be valued. In any case, they show complex behaviors, curiosity, play instinct, and complex social structures. And if that does not intrigue you, there is that gorgeous smile.
Where to Dive With Dolphins
Dolphins are highly social animals. They live in large groups called pods. In some species, multiple smaller family groups come together to form huge pods. These can consist of over a thousand individuals, an amazing sight to see!
Evident on the map, different species of dolphins can be found in many places around the world. Even in the Mediterranean, there are more dolphins than you might think. You can dive with them particularly well in Egypt, where entire dive sites, like the “Dolphin House,” are named after them.