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Post by Andrey Braga

Imagine a world in which we have extraordinary sensory systems and tools to navigate through thousands of kilometers and land precisely in one place, but no hands or fingers.

In this reality, how do you remove unwanted items from the body?

Thankfully nature tends to find very creative solutions for many of life’s challenges.

What is a cleaning station?

Maldivian Atolls are considered Biodiversity hotspots, with a high variety of organisms in coral reefs. Included in the inhabitants of this marine fauna are many cleaner organisms.

The areas in which these animals act are called cleaning stations and when many of them are concentrated in one area, big animals such as manta rays are also one of their ‘clients’.

Maldives Mantas Cleaning Station Sunlight Thila Underwater Coral Reef Marine Life

A Majestic Manta Glides Through Sunlight Thila's Cleaning Station

Manta magic at Sunlight Thila! Cleaner fish work their wonders as these gentle giants cruise the reef

Who lives in cleaning stations?

A small group of fishes gives us the classic example of a Mutualistic relationship, a partnership in which both individuals benefit. The ‘’cleaner wrasses’’ spend much of their lives feeding on parasites, dead tissues and other debris of willing larger fish or other marine animals.

These visitors can come in for superficial and deeper inspections, where the inside of mouths, gills and even open wounds are cleaned. This activity provides food for the wrasse, and the visitors are freed from parasites and dermatological problems, promoting better health.

Diving and snorkeling at cleaning stations

If you are interested in experiencing this amazing and complex behavior with your own eyes, Euro Divers Maldives has several dive centers in the proximity of cleaning stations. Those are top locations, since this is an exclusive experience that can only be done in very few places around the world.

For each of these dive- and snorkeling sites, we provide a specific briefing in advance, explaining the site and important facts about them. Such that, during all times, we should avoid getting too close to the cleaning stations, since our presence could scare away the cleaner fish or repel mantas, which could look for another station to visit.

Our mission is to expand your knowledge and share our experiences, increasing marine conservation, at the same time as diving or snorkeling with friends.

The advantage of being located in 11 islands around the Maldives is that we have a net of communication between our dive centers and our partner resorts to increase your chance of being in the water with these gentle and harmless giants, having the most memorable experience for your diving holiday.