Some of the largest Manta Rays out swimming in the ocean reach 23 feet in size, meaning they literally tower over any human divers out in the water. Despite their massive size, and naturally threatening appearance, Manta Rays are just as sweet as most other living creatures.
Case and point: divers found a manta ray off the coast of Costa Rica that had been tangled in fishing line. Desperate for help, the Manta Ray saw the divers as a possible assistant, and approached them for help. Instead of using her size to overpower the divers, she decided to make friends with them. In return, the sweet Manta Ray was given a new chance at freedom out in the big blue ocean.
Manta Rays are magnificent ocean creatures, some travel alone, and others travel in packs as large as 50. Clearly they do not discriminate against friends that look differently, not only are Manta Rays known to befriend the occasional human, but they are also known to interact with seabirds and other marine mammals. Talk about a friendly, gentle giant–I’d take one for a pet, but you’d need one HUGE swimming pool!
At first the divers were simply in awe as the giant underwater creature approached them in the deep blue waters. When the animal continued to come closer, even with the divers in perfect eye sight, they were rather unsure about what was going to happen next.
But then, when the animal just got close enough, the divers saw the issue. A fishing line was badly wrapped around her fin and body, so tightly it was severing into her skin.
These ocean-loving divers did what any good samaritan would, they immediately started to work at the line in order to free the majestic giant. The diver closest to the Manta Ray was Brian Thompson. As you can see below, he worked his flippers through the water as he diligently untangled the trapped animal.
The most incredible part of all? The Manta Ray didn’t swim off the moment she was free from the fishing lines’ confines. Instead, she decided to hang out with the divers for an entire THIRTY minters. Once she said her sufficient thank you, she swam off into the deep abyss. Wonder where she is today… I’m sure the divers that rescued her will always wonder the very same thing.
Manta Rays are known to travel far distances throughout their life. Manta Rays equipped with scientific tracking devices travel up to 620 miles away from their original location site. They also dive deep under the water, up to 3,300 feet below the ocean surface. In other words, finding the same Manta Ray two times wouldn’t be the easiest task.
The giant Manta Ray hero, Brian Thompson told reporters, “I felt so strong a love for her and happiness to know that she was free and could enjoy her life again.”
Thomaz Monteiro, one of the other divers on site when it happened, was simply blown away by the whole experience. He told news outlet G1 Globo that, “It was the first time I saw a manta ray. There was a very profound interaction between her and the diver.”
Manta Rays live in all of the world’s oceans, and can be found where tropical and subtropical waters flow. They don’t like to get too cold, preferring to swim through water that is over 68 degrees F. If one of these beautiful creatures approaches you for help, now you know what to do!
Watch the full video of divers untangling the grateful giant Manta Ray below.