The Whale Shark or the Rhincodon Typus is the largest living fish species that grows up to a gigantic size of 12 metres, easily recognised by its two-tone pattern of light spots and lines on a dark back. Albeit its mammoth stature, it is one of the most timid sharks, that feeds on small fish, squid, crustaceans, and other plankton organisms with its enormous mouth that also filters large amounts of water.
Little is known about this mysterious creature, which frequents the blue during plankton bloom. Sub adults live in small groups, but these are seen only rarely. Adults are usually solitary, but no details are known about the method these giants use to find locate each other, or how and where they mate.
Whale Sharks are generally encountered (with a little bit of luck!) during November to April, in the lagoon or on the house reef of Kuramathi. There have been quite a number of sightings here on Kuramathi in the past few years while guests were snorkelling and diving. They are very popular with divers and in spite of their random happenstances, they are guaranteed off the Seychelles, Thailand (Andaman Sea), Christmas Island, and tropical Western Australia (Ningaloo Reef), and the Maldives at certain times of the year. The big giant sports the biggest smile underwater, and is often accompanied by other fishes.
Did you know?
The mouth shape of the whale shark modifies itself, as the jaws widen and distend outward, to form an enormous funnel