Swimming with Manta Rays
Manta Rays are described as majestic creatures from the ocean and we would agree! The name manta is Spanish for mantle or blanket because of their wide wingspan. They are also called devil fish because of their horn-shaped fins, which sometimes gives them an evil appearance.
The wingspan of an adult Manta Ray can reach up to 670 centimeters. They feed on plankton, which they filter from the water. Mantas must keep moving in order to keep water flowing over their gills and thus to breathe. This means that they can never stop swimming, not even to sleep or rest. There are stories of manta rays stinging an unsuspecting swimmer who later died from the poison. This can’t be true as the animals lack a poisonous sting. Many divers and snorkelers mentioned how peaceful and calm they are. Manta Rays are quite curious around swimmers and if they feel safe around you, they may approach closely but do avoid touching the Manta Rays as this can cause infections and diseases to be transferred from the human to the animal.
From September to January Mantas can often be seen in Manta Alley, known for its strong currents and temperatures that can drop to 20 degrees Celsius. Another spot where Manta Rays are often sighted is Manta Point, also called Karang Makassar, but despite these sightings, there are no guarantees that you’ll be swimming with the Manta Rays. But worry not; there are many other underwater creatures around like reef sharks, turtles, and schools of giant trevallies.
- Do not touch the manta rays
- If you are not a good swimmer, use a life vest to keep yourself afloat
- Try to bring along an underwater camera to record your Manta Ray experience!
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