Off the coast of Australia, near Lady Elliot Island, the world's only known pink manta ray has once again been spotted!
Nicknamed "Inspector Clouseau," after the the main character of the classic "The Pink Panther," was photographed by Kristian Laine.
According to Laine, she was original confused when seeing the pink manta, believing the ray's vibrant hue was due to a camera malfunction. Laine told Australian Geographic, "I was in the middle of a manta train with seven other mantas. I was looking through my viewfinder and was thinking it's weird that one of the mantas looks pink. I actually thought my strobes were playing up, making the manta look pink."
When she returned to land, Laine discovered that the sighting was authentic, and later took to Instagram to share photos of the "amazing and absolutely unforgettable encounter."
The last, and first, time the rare manta ray was spotted was in 2015, by diving instructor Ryan Jeffery off Lady Elliot Island (once again).
The pink coloring on this manta ray remains a mystery. Project Manta's Asia Armstrong said, "The working theory is that it is just a different and very unique expression of the melanin, but that is still to be confirmed."
"Worlds only pink manta called Inspector Clouseau. What an amazing and absolutely unforgettable encounter that was. Stay tuned for more photos to come of this beautiful mantas little adventures at Lady Elliot Island"
"The only pink manta in the whole world can be found cruising the shallow waters around lady Elliot from time to time, around 8 times in 8 years i think is more like the odds"
Pink Manta Ray - Lady Elliot Island
Many of you would have already seen the incredible photos of the pink manta ray captured by Ryan from the Dive Shop and this is the video that he managed to capture of this unique individual. We have been in contact with Project Manta - The manta rays of Australia lead scientist Kathy Townsend and she has confirmed that this manta has not yet been identified. The pink colouring on this manta ray remains a mystery and we are trying to get some samples that might identify the cause. In the meantime, we are putting a call out to all recreational divers and citizen scientists for photos of the ‘Pink’ Manta who is now on Project Manta’s ‘Most Wanted’ list! #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia #southerngreatbarrierreef #pinkmantaPosted by Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort on Monday, November 2, 2015
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