Swimming with the Sharks in Maldives

Maldives Promotion House – Maldives as a fact carries with it the idea of powdery white beaches crystal clear waters and the magnificent lagoons of unimaginable hues.  However deep beneath this surface layer of bliss there is an even more magnificent world, a world full of fabulous forms of life and a much grander spectrum of colours and harmony.

The underwater beauty of Maldives is however on the verge of destruction. The marvellous marine life and their beauty that can’t be expressed with even exaggerated words are threatened by extinction. The populations of various species of creatures that are unseen anywhere else are thinning out. One of these threatened species is the sharks.

Maldives is home to over 25 species of sharks, some of which are becoming increasingly less common. However, while there is no guarantee for divers that they will encounter a shark while in the Maldives, the abundance of these incredible creatures makes chances quite high and few divers leave the islands disappointed.

The most common sharks are the Black-Tip and White-Tip Reef Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks and the Whale Sharks. A lot of other species of Sharks have been seen on dives on some of the famous Shark Diving spots.

Definitely the most sought after variety of Maldives sharks are the whale sharks. Their abundance throughout the year in Maldives is so well-known that Maldives has become one of the most popular destinations in the world for swimming with whale sharks.

The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, reaching lengths of around 40 feet and incredibly, they are very docile and friendly creatures, posing no threat to scuba divers. While diving with whale sharks in Maldives is unusual due to the fact that most whale shark encounters happen on the surface, snorkelling or swimming with whale sharks has become the ultimate way to get closer to these beautiful creatures.

While most of the resorts in Maldives offer opportunities to snorkel with whale sharks, Safaris and Liveaboards also take guests to experience the magnificent creatures, all around the year. However whale sharks can be quite elusive and finding one is sometimes a tough task.

Scuba divers are more likely to encounter Reef Sharks because they spend most of their time deep beneath the surface. There are several types of reef sharks in Maldives, and one of the most common is the Grey Reef Shark. Grey reef sharks are found abundantly in the coral reefs and are most active at night when they are hunting. While their diet consists generally of smaller fish and pose no threat to divers, they are savvy hunters. They can also reach lengths of about 6 feet long and usually have a grey back with a white belly.

Another common species of reef sharks is white tip reef sharks, which is similar in size and has a paler shade of grey with a white tip on the end of their dorsal and caudal fins. Baby white tip sharks and their adult counterparts are also found around the coral reefs.

Fortunate divers will also come across several types of Hammerhead Sharks, such as the Scalloped Hammerheads. While these are less commonly sighted than the reef sharks, “Rasdhoo Kandu” dive spot is a great place to find them.

One of the most stunning in appearance, but uncommon is the zebra shark, also known as the leopard shark. They belong to a species of Carpet Shark and can be found moving around the seabed, close to the coral reef. It is a nocturnal creature and can be spotted at night.

While the sharks make up only a small percentage of the extreme beauty hidden beneath the layers of crystal clear waters of Maldives, they are creatures worth preserving. They have amazed and amused tourists from all over the world. Those fortunate enough to see these live sharks thriving in their own element can’t help but have a feeling of admiration for their beauty of movement and their supreme efficiency as predators. After all, sharks are one of the most physically perfect life forms on this planet.

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