Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the exclusive abode of the only pink manta ray worldwide. Can you fathom whether this marine creature stands as the most aesthetically pleasing?
Dubbed Inspector Clouseau in homage to the bumbling detective from the Pink Panther films, this captivating aquatic being was artistically captured by photographer Kristian Laine in a series of breathtaking photographs. These images rapidly gained notoriety after their unveiling on Instagram. Initially, I was utterly perplexed,” the photographer confessed. “As I peered through my camera’s lens shortly after the encounter, I discerned something peculiar about one of the mantas’ appearance. It was nestled among a group of fellow mantas in the midst of a manta train. In fact, I entertained the notion that my strobes had malfunctioned, casting a pink hue onto the manta.”
“It wasn’t until later that day when I stumbled upon a photograph of the pink manta displayed on the board at Lady Elliot Island,” he continued. “The feeling was utterly astounding, having just witnessed it up close. Inspector Clouseau has made less than ten appearances since its initial sighting in 2015.” During this particular instance, it was observed among seven other males, all vying for female attention. Experts speculate that its unique hue results from some form of genetic mutation affecting the coloration of its melanin, a skin pigment. This process may bear resemblance to albinism in humans. Reef manta rays typically come in three distinct colors: black, white, and a blend of the two. The latter combination is the most prevalent, featuring dark dorsal sides to blend with the shadowy waters below and lighter undersides to harmonize with sunlight. While you might presume that being vividly pink would expose Inspector Clouseau to predation, he remains a formidable presence. Adult rays can exceed a tonne in weight and are not to be trifled with. Generally, rays exhibit black, white, or dual-toned colorations.
In a curious occurrence last year, deep-sea divers encountered a peculiar, enigmatic blob-like creature residing at the deepest point of the Indian Ocean. This peculiar jellyfish-like entity was sighted more than 7 kilometers beneath the surface in the Java Trench. It’s a truly extraordinary gelatinous entity, believed to be a stalked Ascidean or sea squirt, bearing no resemblance to anything seen before. Dr. Alan Jamieson, a Scottish researcher, serves as the chief scientist of the Five Deeps Expedition. He spearheaded the exploration mission and is presumed to have delved deeper into the ocean than any other British citizen in history, becoming the first to navigate below 6,000 meters. A distant glimpse of the rose-hued fish (Credit: @kristianlainephotography).