ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Manta Rays: Gentle Giants of the Sea

Updated on December 6, 2013

Manta Rays are one of the most amazing Sea Creatures

A few years ago I was scuba diving in Thailand at the famous Manta Ray hot-spot, Koh Bon. It's known for wild currents where the Manta Rays float effortlessly, with open mouths feeding on all the Plankton that is streaming by. As a scuba diver, floating in the wild current is not so effortless as you have to grab a piece of rock and just hang on. However, this trip was well-worth it because as soon as we rounded the corner, there was a massive Manta Ray. We held on and just watched for what seemed like an eternity. It was a humbling, awe-inspiring experience. From that moment on, I've loved Manta Rays and even got one tattooed onto my back!

Check out the amazing photos and videos on this site, as well as learn a little bit about this fabulous animal. Eating habits, best places to spot them, physical characteristics. It can all be found here! Enjoy.


All about Manta Rays

Manta Rays, related closely to sharks are the largest species of Ray and one of the largest creatures in the ocean. The largest recorded manta ray is as astounding 8m across the wings and weighs 1300 kg. They are brown/black on top and have light-colored bellies. Their markings differ, making them easy to identify as individuals.

Manta Rays typically live in warm, tropical water around coral reefs but also venture to more temperate locales. Mantas have also been seen in the open ocean and can travel long distances. They have been known to dive as deep as 500m.

(image from National Geographic)

Have you ever seen a Manta Ray in the wild?

See results

Manta Ray's Feeding Habits

The primary food of manta rays is Plankton, of which they take in 20-30 kg/day. They feed in a very interesting way, filtering water (and food) into their mouths as they swim with the 2 lobes that extend forward from their eye region. They sometimes engage in a feeding spiral, of which not much is currently known. It's perhaps thought that this behavior helps to funnel more food into their mouths.

Manta Rays have almost non-existent teeth because they don't bite their food, but instead just filter. Besides, Plankton, they will sometimes take in fish larvae, small fish, and tiny crustaceans to supplement their diet.

(image from Manta Ray World)

What's the most amazing thing about Manta Rays?

See results

Are Manta Rays Dangerous?

Unlike some other mantas that have a stinging tail, Manta Rays are completely harmless. They have short tails, very small teeth and a non-stinging spine. The only way that they defend themselves against predators (sharks and orcas) are their extremely powerful wings which can offer powerful blows.

Usually Manta Rays are curious, or indifferent to humans, including scuba divers and snorkelers.

(image from it's Nature)

Amazing Manta Ray footage from the Maldives


Manta Ray Reproduction

The Manta Ray mating season is from December to late April and often seems to be triggered by a full moon. Several males will court a single female, chasing her around for up to an hour. The actual mating happens very close to the surface, with the male biting the female's pectoral fin and clasping on, belly to belly. The mating lasts for about 90 seconds.

The female holds the eggs inside of her for a few months, until the eggs hatch inside of her. She nourishes the pups for a time and then the young mantas are eventually released after a few months. There are 1 or 2, 45 kg pups born at a time, rolled up in a tube. As soon as they unroll their wings, they are active and grow very quickly.

(image from the BBC)

Scuba Diving with Manta Rays

Some of the top sites for Manta Rays encounters when scuba diving are:

1. Kona, Hawaii (all year round)

2. Baa Atoll, Maldives (May-July)

3. Koh Bon, Thailand (October-May)

4. South Plaza Island, Galapagos Island (June and October)

5. Coral Coast, Australia (year-round)

6. Yap, Micronesia (year-round)

7. Komodo Island, Indonesia

The Blue Edge

The Blue Edge
The Blue Edge

Free-diving with the Manta Rays (among other things). It's a page-turner that I had a hard time putting down.


Manta Ray Feeding Frenzy


Manta Ray Behavior

Manta Rays can frequently be seen jumping, or breaching out of the water. It's not entirely known why they do this, but it's thought that perhaps it's a form or play or social behavior. It's also possible that this action helps to rid parasites from their bodies.

Another behavior that Manta Rays engage in is visiting cleaning stations. Cleaner Wrasse, or other small fish remove parasites from the Manta Ray's body.

Fifty Places to Dive Before you Die

Manta Ray Secrets from Wild Kingdom

What did you learn from checking out this Manta Ray site?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • KandDMarketing profile image


      6 years ago

      That there are other folks besides myself that like these gentle giants of the sea! Great lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very informative lens! I did not know they could get so big!

    • JanieceTobey profile image


      7 years ago

      Although I have not yet seen a manta ray in the wild, I have gotten to lightly stroke one in an aquarium before. Also, we saw another type of ray while snorkeling in the Bahamas last year. Your manta ray lens is beautiful..!

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      I have not yet been fortunate enough to see one in the wild, but I learned that I really, REALLY want to!

      I am crazy about sting rays and eagle rays, so I am certain I would love Manta Rays!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)