The stunning and enthralling Giant Oceanic Manta Rays (Mobula birostris) are the largest type of ray in the world. Not surprisingly, these magnificent creatures reach up to seven meters in width and two tons in weight. Its triangular pectoral fins on either side are dorsoventrally flat. At the front, it has a pair of cephalic fins which are forward extensions of the pectoral fins. They roll up in a spiral when swimming. However, it flares out to channel water into the large rectangular mouth when they are filter feeding on planktons. They are born into a life of perpetual motion as they must keep water flowing over their gills to breathe.
Mantas are gentle creatures despite their immense size. They have the largest brain of all fish and their intelligence and curiosity make encounters a truly an exhilarating experience. The most commonly sighted species of manta rays in the Maldives is the reef mantas. They are regarded as the smaller cousins of the giant ocean mantas. The southernmost region of Maldives have only recently identified a large population. At the present time, most of the 700 identified individuals come from Fuvahmulah. They appear to be highly transient and rarely re-sighted with individuals spending only short periods of time near the reef.
Melanistic mantas (black morph) make up 2% out of the manta ray population sightings at the cleaning stations in Fuvahmulah. During the mating seasons of March to May the congregation of Black Oceanic Mantas makes Fuvahmulah the best diving destination in the world to catch a glimpse of these majestic giants of the ocean.
Here’s a quick guide to our Fuvahmulah diving sites.
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