Ask any diver which creature they would most like to see underwater and what usually follows is a list with anything ranging from the gentle giants of the ocean to the tiny critters, but there are some that make divers’ bucket lists almost every single time…the ‘Big 5 of Scuba Diving’
Whale Shark – the biggest fish in the sea most commonly reaching up to 12 metres in length.
These gentle giants can be seen year-round in the Maldives with the dive sites of South Ari Atoll giving the best chance of sightings.
Manta Ray – Graceful and majestic with wingspans reaching up to 4 metres and sometimes gathering in huge numbers, the manta rays of the Maldives are a spectacular sight.
They can be observed at cleaning stations as well as plankton-rich feeding grounds.
Sightings are possible all year round.
Sea Turtle – these much-loved creatures have been around so long that they once shared the planet with the dinosaurs and yet sadly, 6 out of the 7 species in the world today are listed as endangered.
In the Maldives, however, there are large populations of turtles with sightings across all the atolls throughout the year – you’d be quite unlucky to spend a week diving or snorkeling and not spot a turtle!
Shark – there are many different species of shark in the Maldives, from the more commonly seen reef sharks, nurse sharks and leopard sharks to the more elusive open water species such as tiger sharks, silver tips and hammerheads.
If sharks are your thing, the Maldives is your place to dive.
Mola Mola – also known as ocean sunfish, they are one of the strangest looking creatures in the ocean, shaped like a gigantic disc with the addition of fins.
Sightings have been recorded across the Maldives but are rare – you will need to be very lucky to get this one ticked off your diving bucket list!
If you’re not fancying your chances of seeing Mola Mola, keep an eye out for other creatures frequently appearing on divers’ ‘Big 5 Underwater’ lists such as whales and dolphins. To see a whale while diving is very rare but dolphins, although not often seen during dives, are seen by snorkelers and commonly spotted by divers whilst on the boat travelling to and from dive sites.
Here at Euro-Divers Maldives we like to understand our divers’ expectations so we can dive the reefs that give the best possible chances for our divers to realize their dreams and get to see the marine creatures on their ‘Big 5’ lists. Join us and see how many you can tick off the list.