The World's Only Pink Manta Ray Spotted Near The Great Barrier Reef

February 14, 2020

An underwater photographer in Australia has captured beautiful photos of the only known pink manta ray in the world.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The ray has been named Inspector Clouseau after the detective from the Pink Panther.

Finnish photographer Kristian Laine says it was "an amazing and absolutely unforgettable encounter."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kristian (@kristianlainephotography) on

The pink manta ray was photographed near Lady Elliot Island in the Great Barrier Reef.

"I felt amazed afterwards but also felt like when I was in its eye level, I felt like he was smiling at me," Laine said. "He was big and I got into a touch range but obviously didn't touch, I was super close, about a meter at best."

Why Inspector Clouseau has pink skin is still a bit of a mystery to scientists.

Project Manta researchers believe Clouseau's coral blush may be the result of a genetic mutation that affects skin pigmentation. If true, Clouseau's condition would be the first amongst manta rays.

The good news is Clouseau's unique coloration won't get him into trouble. Guy Stevens, co-founder of the United Kingdom's Manta Trust, told National Geographic at their gargantuan sizes, manta rays have only the most plus-sized of predators to fear, and many survive decades in the wild.

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