If you have plans to visit Hawaii, there are tons of tours and excursions you can take to see the best of the island’s wildlife. From the opportunity to swim with dolphins to snorkeling day tours, you can have a one-of-a-kind encounter with nature in Hawaii. One of the most amazing experiences is manta ray tours, where you can see these creatures in their natural habitat. Here are five fun facts about Hawaii’s manta rays.
5 Facts You Might Not Know About Hawaii's Manta Rays
1. They Can Live up to 100 Years
It’s hard to tell exactly how long manta rays live, but scientists estimate that their average lifespan is between 50 and 100 years. Some rays have been tracked around Hawaii since the 1970s and show no signs of slowing down.
2. They Can Swim Deeper Than 700 Feet
Recreational scuba divers rarely dive below 130 feet, but manta rays can travel deeper than 700 feet into the ocean! Luckily, they spend most of their time in much shallower water where there is more food—and where humans can see them on manta ray tours.
3. They Have Freckles
Manta rays have dark backs, but their bellies are usually bright white. This is where they have freckles! Many rays have unique patterns of spots on their bellies that make it easier for scientists to identify them.
4. They Can Weigh Over 3,000 Pounds
It’s hard to imagine that manta rays can weigh so much when they move through the water so gracefully, but many rays can surpass 3,000 pounds. A grown manta ray is typically at least 18 feet across, but their wingspan can reach up to 23 feet!
5. They Have No Teeth
Manta rays eat by filter-feeding, letting water pass through a system of gills and filters that trap plankton in their mouth. In addition to plankton, they eat larva of other sea creatures, tiny shrimp, and fish eggs, all of which can be digested without chewing.
My Kona Adventures in Kailua Kona, HI, specializes in manta ray tours of the Big Island, taking groups of six people to ensure a personalized experience. My Kona Adventures is owned and operated by Hawaiians and veterans who take great pride in Hawaii’s natural habitats. From manta ray day tours to night snorkeling, My Kona Adventures can show you the best that the island has to offer. Visit their website to read about their excursions, and call (808) 427-3236 for more information and booking.