Watch Manta Rays Swim in the Great Barrier Reef

Written by on November 28, 2014 in Marine Life

Lady Elliot Island, located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, is a hotspot for marine megafauna and happens to be home to up to 450 manta rays (Manta alfredi), which are listed as vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

In many places around the world, manta rays are still hunted for “medicinal purposes,” which contributes to their vulnerable listing, but Lady Elliot Island is one of a few places around the world where you’re likely to see these large rays, as they are protected within the park boundaries. Researchers recently determined that there are 10 times as many manta rays in the waters around the island than thought 10 years ago.

In 2013, Lady Elliot Island was ranked by PADI, the world’s largest SCUBA diving organization, as one of the top five places in the world to snorkel and dive with manta rays. Mantas can weight up to 1000 kilograms (2,200 pounds), with a wingspan of over five meters (18 feet).

Check out this beautiful footage of manta rays around the island from Queensland Tourism and Events:

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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