PADI 5 Star Dive resort in Komodo

Dive with Manta Rays in Komodo, Indonesia

Essential facts for your manta ray encounter – the majestic gentle giants of the sea

Gliding elegantly through the sea, manta rays are a sight to behold.

Measuring 4-7 meters, diving with manta rays can be intimidating. But despite their jaw-dropping size, they are docile creatures that will amaze anybody.

Here are some essential facts to bear in mind when diving into the world of manta rays:

manta rays komodo diving

What Is A Manta Ray?

The manta is the most giant ray in the world. It is closely related to stingrays, with their flattened body and long tail, and to sharks, for their cartilaginous skeletons.

However, there are only two types of manta rays:

  • Reef Manta: average width 5 meters (18 feet). This is the species you’ll find in Komodo.
  • Giant Manta: average width 7 meters (23 feet).

These two species have their distinguishing features and characteristics, but share the same diamond-shaped body and wing-like pectoral fins, laterally placed eyes, and wide frontal mouths.

Where Do They Live?

As their name suggests, the giant manta ray is found in open oceans, whereas the reef manta ray lives in shallower coastal waters.

Are Manta Rays Dangerous?

Every diver’s dream is of one day having a manta ray encounter – better yet, to swim side by side with them. But are manta rays dangerous? Not at all.  Although they have a tail-like stingray, manta rays do not have a poisonous sting and are not aggressive, so relax. They are huge, but not dangerous.

Truth be told, they are known for being curious and for approaching divers, putting on impressive acrobatic shows.

Fun Facts

  • They have the largest brain of all fish.
  • Their name “manta” comes from the Spanish for “blanket” after their appearance, but also indicates a blanket used traditionally to catch them.
  • If they stop swimming, they’ll sink.
  • They have personal identifying spots under their bellies, much like our fingerprints.
  • They jump out of the water. Scientists still don’t know why. To eliminate parasites from their bodies or to perform a dazzling courtship ritual? One thing’s for sure; they make a big belly-flop splash!

liveaboard komodo mantas dragondivekomodo

Are They at Risk of Extinction?

The manta ray’s population is rapidly declining on a global scale. Its most significant threats are overfishing, water pollution, and climate change. Because of its slow reproduction rate, it is doubtful that manta rays will recover – especially in unprotected areas.

IUCN’s red list of threatened species has classified both species – reef manta ray and giant manta ray – as “vulnerable” and at high risk of extinction.

Why Scuba Dive with Manta Rays in Komodo?

Komodo is situated in the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO heritage site. It is home to 25% of the world’s fish species and 15% of its coral.

Moreover, in 2014 the Indonesian government banned fishing and exporting manta rays. It is the largest sanctuary for manta rays and one of the few places where it is possible to encounter this species.

Dragon Dive Komodo is a strong advocate for promoting sustainable tourism and best dive practices – essential for the survival of manta rays and the habitat they live in.

manta ray diving komodo

Manta Ray Season in Komodo

Thanks to the abundance of food in Komodo National Park, there is no Manta ray season. Mantas in Komodo can be found all year round.

For the best diving conditions, however, visit Komodo between June and September.

While Komodo National Park is one of the most renowned dive destinations in the world, it is also on top of the list for one of the best places to scuba dive with manta rays. What more could you possibly ask for?

manta ray diving komodo

Book your diving trip with manta rays in Komodo now!

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