Hawaiian Manta Rays Seem Scary But Are as Gentle as They are Beautiful.

Jul 18, 2022 | General Information

One of the most amazing experiences a visitor could have on a visit to Hawaii would be to go on an ocean swim with wild Manta Rays. Actually, the only Hawaiian island that operates this type of tour on a daily basis is the Big Island and these tours are offered off the Kona Coastline.

Manta Rays are enormous sea creatures and they are as harmless as they are large. Often having a wingspan in excess of 10′ (some can have a wingspan over 15′) these giant fish have no teeth, no stingers and have no capability to harm you. To the contrary, you must be careful when viewing not to do them harm as they have an extremely mild dispositions.

Each evening off the coast of Kona on the island of Hawaii we offer a number of companies that motor the short distance off the coastline to a special area where the Mantas come in to feed on a daily basis. They eat large quantities of plankton which are attracted to the searchlights that are fitted on the vessels. The Mantas are attracted to the swirling plankton and swim in to feast on them. They make use of their large open mouths to bring the plankton into their bodies and as the water is filtered out their gills the particulate of the plankton is gathered and fed down to their stomachs. They maneuver with great agility and change direction and angulation on a dime as they attempt to accumulate all the food they can manage to gather in.

This event can be participated in by scuba divers who are generally asked to swim quietly near the bottom or by snorkelers who are asked to stay on the surface and not dive down. This allows for an area between the two groups where the Mantas can perform their beautiful and graceful nightly underwater ballet.

It is rare that the mantas don’t show up for this performance (though it occasionally does happen) and viewing this experience is often the absolute highlight of the vacations of those lucky enough to participate.