Flying Rays: Marvels of Nature

Posted on December 8, 2015 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Some of the wonders of this world leave us speechless and in awe of nature. The flight of the Mobula Ray is one of these wonders.

Today on EWC we bring you one of natures little known, but most spectacular rituals. Every year in May, the sound of popcorn, on a thunderous scale, can be heard on some beaches along the southern Baja Peninsula in Mexico. That’s when enormous schools of mobula rays congregate and leap as much as 8 feet out of the water, sometimes three or four at a time.

Prehistoric man might have witnessed this with the same sense of curious awe that we do today.

 

Image: map of Baja Peninsula and Sea of Cortez
Source: SMALLSHIPSAFARIS.COM

To find this bit of wonder, we head to The Sea of Cortes which is the body of water that separates the Baja Peninsula from mainland Mexico. According to a fabulous organization that protects these rays (Mantawatch.org):

“The famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau once called this area “The aquarium of the world” because the Sea of Cortez is home to such a vast array of marine mammals and fish, including the magnificent creatures that are responsible for this unique sound.”

 

Among the many beautiful ways that animals communicate, flying rays stand out as a sight to behold.

First up, this marvelous piece on Mobula Rays from the BBC:

Via:BBC 1

Remarkable, simply remarkable!

Now, what if those flying rays multiplied into a school of hundreds of thousands? National Geographic captured such a marvel off the coast of Baja. This record-breaking school of Mobula Rays filling the sea is stunning to behold:

It seems miraculous that massive creatures, seemingly bound to the sea, have learned to take flight. As when I witness so many spectacles of nature, I am left with the incredible reminder that “it’s still an amazing world!”

Thank you to Kelly C. for sending the rays our way! If you find anything beautiful or fascinating on the web, please let us know by visiting our submit page and shooting us a message!

-Liesl
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”-Victor Borge

Liesl can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV


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