We’re all sometimes guilty of focusing on the future too much. We think of what things are going to be created, where are going to live in 10/20/50 years, what will the planet look like, will we all move to Mars? But we rarely live in the moment and appreciate the things we have. We’re all about the next big invention, but really we haven’t even explored all of our planet yet. 80% of our oceans are still unexplored and unmapped, just vast territories we know nothing about. It’s good that we’re thinking about the animals that are endangered, but there could be creatures living at the bottom of the ocean that we don’t even know about. There’s still so much we don’t know about our planet and so much of it to still be explored, we should cherish that while we still can.
For example, for a really long time, we all thought that manta rays only come in black and white, as in they’re generally black on top and white on the bottom, but this diver in Australia had his mind blown when he saw a pink one.
Kristian Lane used to be a surfer, but after an injury, he was forced to stop surfing. But he found a new hobby for himself that still feeds his love for the ocean and became an aquatic photographer and diver after he saw some phenomenal photos of sea turtles.
Kristian was diving off the coast of Lady Elliot Island in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef recently and his goal was to take some photos of aquatic life over there. He happened to come across a bunch of male manta rays chasing a female one in a mating ritual. Obviously, he had to capture that so he tried his best to hold his breath and dive 12 meters underwater to snap some photos. He first noticed that one of the males had a pink underside through his camera lens and thought that maybe the camera was broken.
Kristian says he locked eyes with the pink manta ray through the viewfinder and the ray seemed very calm and friendly. It was a very special moment but since holding your breath underwater isn’t something you can do for very long, Kristian had to dive multiple times and try to time them perfectly to be in the right spot and also to capture the manta rays to the best of his ability. It just so happened that he managed to snap about 5 good pictures of the pink manta ray without even realising it was pink.
It was only after he got out of the water and was looking through the photos on his camera that he noticed it. He immediately googled pink manta rays because he didn’t even know they existed. And what do you know it looks like he met the one and only pink manta ray in the world that we know of. It was seen for the first time in 2015 by Ryan Jeffery and nicknamed Inspector Clouseau after the detective character in Pink Panther. Upon closer inspection, Kristian figured out that the pink manta ray he came face to face with had the exact same markings as Inspector Clouseau and felt amazed that he saw the one and only pink manta ray in real life.
At first, it was thought that the reason the manta ray had pink skin was due to his diet or perhaps a skin infection. But later on, a small sample of skin was taken and after running some tests it was established that it’s a gene mutation similar to that of albinism.