Diver Swims With Hundreds Of Rays In Spectacular Footage
Scuba diving is hard, but the rewards can be massive. Most of us limit ourselves to a few attempts at learning how to do it while on holiday, but for the committed divers who plan entire trips around it, there is always the potential for amazing moments like this one, caught on camera.
Sarah Richard, a scuba diver from Hastings in East Sussex, was off the coast of Mexico when she came across this huge school of Mobula rays, emerging before her like a wall of fish.
Sarah struggles to contain her excitement at what she experienced, yelping with joy as she swims amid the rays and gesturing wildly with her hands in delight.
"I have been a diver for 10-years and except for witnessing it on TV, I have never seen such a large school of rays before," she said after the event, which has gone viral on Youtube thanks to her camera skills.
"To be in arms distance of such a large amount of rays was humbling and emotional.
"As divers and ocean advocates, we are constantly fighting to make our oceans better - every now and then you encounter moments like this that remind us truly how great the ocean and life that live in it are."
The incident occurred while Sarah was diving off the coast of Baja California Sur in June.
Mobula rays, also known as devil rays and flying Mobula, have huge wings that can extend over five yards in width and can fly out of the water, jumping to heights of more than six feet from the sea.
It is not known why they leap from the water: some scientists think that they do it in order to attract mates, while others suggest that it is related to freeing themselves from parasites.
Mobula rays can live for as long as 40 or 50 years but some species are considered endangered due to being accidentally captured by fishermen.
While some members of the Mobula ray family are dangerous and have spiny tails, most are not. They generally swim in schools of more than 100 fish at a time - as seen by Sarah - and eat small sea creatures such as plankton by ingesting them as they swim together.
They can live anywhere with sufficiently warm water, making the Gulf of California and the Mexican coast the perfect place to see them while scuba diving.
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