As far back as human history goes, people have always been entranced with the seas. Even now, despite most of the land on Earth having been explored, there are those who consider the ocean depths as the final frontier that humans have yet to conquer, even more so than space.
This is one reason why scuba diving and snorkeling has become so popular around the world. After all, being able to see a whole new world, a pristine one far from the stress of daily living is very attractive indeed. And if one is lucky enough, one will be able to get at least one once-in-a-lifetime encounter with one of the magnificent creatures dwelling in the ocean, as a few Canadian tourists did during a sightseeing tour in the Galapagos Islands.
Watch the face to face interaction the diver had with a giant mantra below.
Video credit: Rumble
The boat the tourists were riding in had to make a stop to address a mechanical issue. Due to the hot day, the guides allowed the tourists to swim in the ocean as the boat was being repaired.
Suddenly, a giant shadow with a tail fin was seen gliding along the surface. Thankfully, it wasn’t a shark but a giant manta ray and it got the guides all excited as the creature made its way to the boat. It was unconcerned or curious as it approached the family in the water and even came face-to-face with the person filming the whole experience before it smoothly banked to the right to go on its way.
With wingspans capable of reaching 7 meters (23 feet) and weights of up to 3000 kg (6,600 lbs), manta rays are the largest of the rays. Seeing one in the flesh is an awe-inspiring experience that is both intimidating and breath-taking.
Because of the manta ray’s size, only large predators like, great hammerheads, tiger sharks, bull sharks, and killer whales can make them prey. But manta rays can rely on bursts of speed reaching up to 24km/h in order to escape these same predators.
With brains ten times the size of whale sharks and a comparatively larger brain-to-body mass ratio compared to other cold-blooded fish, manta rays are considered to be one of the smartest ocean animals. Some degree of self-awareness is even evident as they are able to pass a mirror test.
It was truly an unforgettable encounter for this Canadian family, one that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives!
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