During our last cruises we were allowed to experience something special. We had the rare and impressive pleasure to meet manta rays and monk seals.
The manta ray is a species of ray from the devil ray family. The animals, which live in the Mediterranean Sea but are extremely rare, reach a wingspan of up to 5.5 meters.
Its unusual movement (similar to the flapping of birds), appearance, size and the name “devil ray” probably contributed to the fact that in the 18th and 19th centuries among sailors all sorts of horror stories about them circulated. In the past, people mistakenly believed that giant manta rays were dangerous to humans. Most of the animals even tolerate divers at their side.
The Mediterranean has become an unsafe habitat for rays. Already 39 species are considered acutely endangered, mainly due to overfishing.
We consider ourselves very lucky to have encountered one of these majestic animals in the open sea and to have accompanied it for a while!