Bright Side

A Photographer Meets the Pink Manta Ray You Didn’t Know Existed, Gets 5 Unique Pics

There’s a unique creature that’s cruising the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s so rare that scientists believe it’s the only one in the world. It was first spotted in 2015, and since that time it has showed up to people less than 10 times. Luckily for us, it decided to flaunt its beauty again, and a witness happened to be underwater photographer Kristian Laine.

We at Bright Side can’t help but squeal with excitement when we find something unique. So, here are 5 photos of the rarest manta ray for you.

Meet Inspector Clouseau, a manta ray known by its unusual color.

This manta ray happens to not be black and white (like its other normal peers), but black and pink.

“It was an amazing and absolutely unforgettable encounter,” shared Kristian. He didn’t know that pink mantas existed at all and at first thought that his camera was broken. It’s not a surprise, because it’s easier to convince yourself that there’s something wrong with your equipment, than to realize that you’ve just gotten a chance to see the only (as it’s believed) pink manta ray in the world.

A skin biopsy helped scientists find the most plausible explanation.

At first, there were several theories that could explain the unusual color. At the beginning, scientists believed a diet or a skin infection could be the reason for it. But they managed to take a skin sample for a biopsy and ruled out these ideas.

Now they say that the pink color was caused by a genetic mutation. This condition turns their normal skin color into a reddish or pink color. Although their usual color patterns help them blend in with environment and protect them from sharks and other enemies, scientists believe that the life of Inspector Clouseau is not in danger because of its massive size.

Do you know that people have only managed to explore a teeny-tiny part of the global ocean? About 80% of it is still unobserved and unmapped. So, who knows what other majestic creatures may be hiding out there and waiting for their 15 minutes of fame.

Did you know that there was a pink manta ray in the waters around the Great Barrier Reef? Which photo amazed you the most?