Shark seen next to manta ray shows sheer scale of sea creature spotted off coast
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Get ready to be wowed by the power of nature with an incredible video of a giant oceanic manta ray. Check it out:
The footage shows a shark swimming alongside and over the majestic creature, demonstrating the sheer size of this thing.
Granted, the shark could belong to a smaller species (more on this in a bit). But, nonetheless, the manta ray makes it looks like a tiny fish.
Redditor u/AdvisorTime785 shared the amazing clip and explained that it was captured off the coast of Trinidad in the Caribbean.
They wrote: "Huge oceanic Manta Ray spotted near Trinidad (sharks for scale)."
Since it was uploaded yesterday (26 January), the post has received more than 20,000 upvotes, as well as hundreds of comments from the online community.
As said by one: "They are gorgeous to look at... so majestic... years ago they used to be seen coming close to shore off of Speyside."
"Plankton eating machine," said another, while a third added, "That is an absolute monster."
Now, before you get at us in the comments section, we should point out that a lot of people think the 'shark' is actually a cobia - a type of marine fish.
But even if this is the case, they still get pretty damn big themselves.
One Redditor was on hand to explain: "Sorry to respond to top comment, but obligatory reply every time this gif comes up: that is not a shark, it's a cobia.
"I know it looks a lot like a shark, but it's a cobia. It doesn't change the scale though, a big cobia is the size of a smallish shark."
This particular species can reach lengths of around two metres, so they're not exactly the smallest of fish.
And as for the giant oceanic manta rays, one person said: "Pretty sure these glorious b***ards get a 15-30ft wing span."
Although they did add: "That's a very rough estimate from my failing memory of growing up watching NatGeo wild."
Another replied to this comment to say: "They get enormous. They easily dwarf multiple Mola Molas in size (and Mola Molas are huge themselves)."
It turns out their estimation is pretty accurate, with Sharks Trust stating that the wingspan of this type of manta ray can reach a whopping nine metres (30ft), making them the biggest ray in the world.
Another fun fact about this species is that they can have up to 4,000 tiny teeth, but they don't use these for feeding.
Instead they're used for mating purposes as the males have to hold onto the females.
Yolanda Evans, a writer for the charity, added: "Having the largest brain to body ratio of any cold-blooded fish, it is thought that they are able to pass the mirror test, showing that they have self-awareness.
"They are also capable of creating mental maps using smells and environmental bearings, helping on their migrations."
But don't let their size fool you - manta rays are chill and pose no threat to humans.
However, the same can't be said vice-versa, so if you're ever lucky enough to encounter one of these incredible creatures in the deep blue sea, be sure to keep your distance so as not to disturb them - unless they're literally asking you for help.