Big Blue Diving - Koh Tao - Thailand - Whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle - Koh Tao - August 2018
Monday, 13 August 2018 12:34

Whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle - Koh Tao - August 2018 Featured

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After a bit of a whaleshark dry spell of only 3 in the last 2 weeks (all at Sail Rock) our lucky fundivers and Advanced students today managed to cross something else off their bucket lists, with a beautiful young specimen stopping by our best local site of Chumphon Pinnacle.

Initial reports have declared it to be either 3 metres long, or 4m, or possibly 5m, and of course there are a couple of people out there who have decided there were two – it’s not uncommon for people too see one, turn 360 degrees, see the same one again but decide it was another!

 

To celebrate their return we should have a look at my 3 favourite facts of the mighty whaleshark:

 

  • Despite its name, the whaleshark is not a whale and is in fact the world’s largest fish, reaching lengths of 12 metres. Weighing them isn’t so easy, but researchers from the Okinawa Aquarium that imprisons them have managed to weigh one of their larger individuals, which was over 7000 kg!

 

 

  • Experts believe they reach maturity around age 30, but their life expectancy is still a mystery to us. Some ichthyologists say they die in the sixties, while others believe they can live till around 100 to 150 years old, which is approximately as old as the clothes our favourite instructor Neil Draycott

 

 

  • No two whalesharks on the planet share the same markings! Just behind the gills of a whaleshark is a unique pattern of white spots, which can be used to identify the fish. Interestingly, the method to identify them has been adapted from The Groth Algorithm, which is a pattern-recognition formula used by NASA to map the countless star fields observed by the world’s super telescopes like the Hubble. Jason Holmberg and NASA astrophysicist Zaven Arzoumanian, the guys behind this technique, simply adapted the algorithm to read white spots on the whaleshark, rather than white stars against the black night sky!

 

Sign up for your chance to dive with one of these incredible beasts here , or if you’re not already a diver take a peek right at this

Read 351 times Last modified on Monday, 13 August 2018 12:47