How to Act Around Manta Rays

Entertainment Blog

Snorkeling trips where you get to watch manta rays swim around are amazing. You're there in the dark, quietly watching as the rays silently swim around you, occasionally getting close as if they're checking you out, too. The peacefulness of the ocean and the rays makes a lot of people, well, kind of misbehave. No one gets rude, but a lot of people start acting in ways that could scare or even harm the manta rays. If you want to go on a snorkeling trip to watch these creatures, you need to know how to act.

Don't Touch Them. Just Don't.

First, do they look pettable? Yes. Are they pettable? NO. En-oh-NO. Don't touch the rays, even if one comes up to you and hangs out a bit.

First, the rays can take off if you touch them, which ruins the trip because that means they've left. Second, the oils on your skin (which are present even as you snorkel around in the salty ocean water) can degrade and remove a mucous membrane that's on the manta rays' bodies and increase their susceptibility to illness.

And third, if you're told not to touch the rays and you do, your snorkeling guide has no idea what else you'll try. You might be taken out of the water and not allowed to continue snorkeling.

They Can Surprise You, but They're Not Stingrays

Manta rays don't have the stinger that stingrays have, even though the manta rays do have that tail. They can be curious and often swim up very close to people, which can be intimidating considering your typical manta ray near islands has a wingspan topping 10 feet and often reaches as much as 15 feet. The giant oceanic rays can top 30 feet. But even the smaller ones can be a bit startling when they're right in your face. Just keep in mind that they are not considered dangerous, and if you leave them alone, you'll be fine.

Friendly but Skittish

Manta rays can be pretty friendly, but they are skittish. Touching them, as mentioned, can scare them off, which ruins the trip for everyone. They do appear to be among the more intelligent sea life, and they're usually mellow. Still, as you stay near the boat and shift about, be careful that you don't accidentally bump into one. Be careful if you tend to kick your feet vigorously while in water. 

Manta rays can be really cute when you get used to seeing them, but that does not mean you can play with them. Let them swim past in peace and enjoy watching them. For more information, reach out to a manta ray snorkeling tour service.


13 June 2022

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