Photographer Captures Stunning Images Of The World's Only Known Pink Manta Ray
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"