All photographs are the original work of Nishan Perera, and cannot be used without the written consent of the photographer. Unauthorized use of images is a violation of intellectual property rights and may be subject to legal action.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Manta madness

Its 10am on August 5th, Hani Faru, South Malhosmadhulu Atoll, Maldives. A southwesterly wind blows across turquoise seas on a clear sunny morning, and divers and snorkelers from around the world have gathered in anticipation of something special. Its been nearly two months since my last dive and I'm as eager as a first time snorkeler on a tropical vacation. Two mantas are feeding in the bay, but its a relatively quite morning so far. Well at least by Maldives standards! Then a few more mantas appear, and as more plankton gets swept into the small shallow bay a few more appear, until we are surrounded by around 25 large manta rays. Oblivious to the divers the large rays jostle with each other, sometimes bumping into divers as they twist and turn in a feeding frenzy. Seven to ten mantas swim behind each other forming 'manta trains' with their cephalic fins extended in order to channel plankton rich water into their large mouths. It was magical. It was madness. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

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