No way is that a Manta in the Kelp Forest…

Yes…yes it is.


This video was just taken off of San Clemente Island by spearfisherman Carter Jessop (used with permission). This is his account of the miraculous interaction:

“The real excitement of the trip came on the second afternoon at the island. We were diving a spot with strong wind and current and I got worried that the anchor had a poor set and our inflatable might be moving, so I decided to go check on it. As I was kicking over, I was thinking to myself “this is unnecessary, I’m sure the anchor is fine”, but then I also had the thought that you never know what you will see in the ocean if you just let come what will and perhaps the swim would provide something interesting. Halfway back to the RIB, I saw a small green sea turtle and told myself “see, I did see something interesting”… little did I know… 

After checking the anchor (which was fine), I turned to swim back to the drop off where the other guys were hunting yellowtail and see a huge dark shape under me, although my brain couldn’t quite accept it, I immediately recognized it… it was an 8-10 foot wing span manta ray swimming along the edge of the kelp! I clicked on the gopro and dove toward it and captured this video (this was one of the first dives I had worn a gopro in months serendipitously).

I came to the surface a little giddy. I was just laughing to myself at what an incredible thing I had just witnessed. I told the other guys and although they believed me, they couldn’t help but say “if we watch that video and it turns out to have just been a huge bat ray, you’ll be getting shit for the rest of your life”.”


Needless to say…it wasn’t a huge bat ray.


H/t to Jeff Bar for placing this gem in my inbox this morning.

Alex Warneke (112 Posts)

Alex is committed to a life of inspiring others to view science through a more dynamic and empowering lens. Alex obtained her M.Sc. in Chemical Ecology from San Diego State University and most recently resided as a Science Programs Manager and Marine Scientist for the National Park Service. As an ecologist, storyteller, and community engager, she has spanned critical boundaries between stakeholders in education, academia, non-profit, and government to translate the most current scientific bodies of work in ways that are accessible and inclusive. She is a strong proponent of unconventional science communication and extending the broader impacts of science to the public using the outlets of art, digital media, education, and citizen science. Currently, Alex works at the interface of climate resilience and community with the Climate Science Alliance. As Deputy Director for the Alliance, her hope is that through her work and experience she can get the world to think differently about how we connect and impact the thriving ecosystem around us and commit to fostering a more resilient future.

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