Everyone at Scubafish is very excited that the Giant Manta Rays are back at Hin Daeng & Hin Muang! In the last few weeks we have had the chance to encounter these gentle giants on almost every dive at Hin Daeng & Hin Muuang and hope to see many more over the high season.
Located 70km south of Ko Lanta, Hin Daeng & Hin Muang is considered one of the best dive destinations in Thailand, well known for its stunning abundance of soft corals, deepest drop off in Thailand and huge variety of larger marine life. This site is known as a popular cleaning station for Manta Rays.
Their cleaning process includes the removal of parasites from their body (both externally and internally). When the Manta approaches a cleaning station it will position its body in such a way as to signal that it needs cleaning. The cleaner fish will then remove and eat the parasites from the Manta’s skin, even swimming into their mouth and gills to clean. Cleaning stations may be associated with coral reefs, located either on top of a coral reef or in a slot between two outcrops.
Interesting facts about Manta Rays
Giant Manta Rays (Manta birostris) are the largest of the ray family (Mobulidae). They are the largest rays in the world. Manta Rays can reach at least 7 metres (23 ft) in width and weigh as much as 2,000 kgs! The Manta Ray has the largest brain to body ratio of all sharks and rays on Earth. Manta Rays live to around 20 years old and are very close relative of the shark. Ironically, sharks as well as whales are their main predators. They are also closely related to the stingray but they don’t have a stinger.
The name ‘Manta’ means blanket in Spanish and the fact that this creature looks like a blanket as it moves in the water is part of the namesake. Manta Ray’s are located throughout tropical waters of the world, typically around coral reefs which means that many visitors to these regions can wonder at these magnificent marine creatures.