Maldives 2016: Mantas!

We cruised for about 40 minutes across the atoll on a flat-calm sea, to snorkel over a submerged reef called 'Manta point', where there was a manta ray cleaning station. Mantas regularly visit this reef to get their parasites removed by smaller fish. It benefits both parties, as the small fish get an easy meal.

Manta glides over the reef

When we arrived there was a line of divers on the bottom and a Manta gracefully 'flying' around in front of them, sometimes gliding right over their heads. Eventually the divers got the signal from their leader to return to the boat and within seconds of their departure, the Manta left the scene too, heading in the opposite direction. I wondered who'd been watching who! Clearly the manta was just as interested in the divers as they were in it.

Manta entertaining divers

We returned to the boat and motored for a couple of minutes to another cleaning station. Here there were three mantas initially, which I thought was incredible, but then two more appeared, and a sixth joined the group just as one was leaving.

 Three Mantas perform a ballet


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