Having stalked the best scuba divers online, I’ve got a glimpse into the lives and dives of the best. I couldn’t help myself feel irresistibly drawn to the underwater world. Never the same, it’s utterly beautiful landscape is constantly evolving. It has way too much variety and even after diving for a lifetime, still remains a woefully incomplete experience. In the spirit of getting the best out of the underwater world, here’s my list of the items to tick off my bucket list!
1. Hitch a ride alongside the Whale Sharks
|by scuba04 – flickr|
One of the most famous and instantly recognizable creatures in the world, diving with the whale shark is on most Scuba diver’s bucket list. It is also the most commonly cited number 1 dive experience. Just looking at these majestic creatures sends a thrill down my spine. They are about the size of a Double Decker bus and are known as the gentle giants of the ocean. Their spots are unique to each (like fingerprints) and make them incredibly attractive. Unfortunately, they’re a threatened species and unethical tourism in places like Oslob, and illegal fishing are rapidly declining their already fragile numbers.
Places to spot: You can often spot the whale shark diving in Belize, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia and Tanzania
2. See a Hammerhead Shark school pass from above
Each year hundreds of Hammerhead sharks migrate to the islands in the north of the Galapagos Islands, which lends a fantastic opportunity for divers. These schools of sharks, frequently more than 300, move like a dark cloud and sometimes blot out the light completely from the surface. It’s a dive experience that the lucky few rave about.
Places to spot: Galapagos Islands
3. Become a part of a Barracuda school
|by berniedup – flickr|
Frequently featuring as one of the best places to dive in South East Asia, Barracuda Point has crazy shoals of fish, primarily the barracudas that congregate in massive schools, making it an epic sight to behold. This is also a favoured location for spotting turtles and white tipped sharks.
Places to spot: You can often spot barracuda schools in various diving spots in India, and Barracuda Point, Sipadan Island, Malaysia
4. Watch the Sea Cows – Dugongs
|by earthraceconservation – flickr|
These gentle sea mammals have a close association with humans and are considered as the inspiration for mermaids. There are even cave-paintings of them, dating to thousands of years old in Malaysia. Though gentle, they are a threatened species, and are thought to be extremely vulnerable to extinction. Dugongs are the only (strictly) herbivorous marine animal, mainly feeding on sea grass, thus earning them the name of sea-cows.
Who wouldn’t want to dive with the mermaids?
Places to spot: Andaman Sea, Indonesia, USA
5. See an Octopus camouflaging
This is one of the favourite animals on my wish list. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve grown up watching cartoons of octopi, in shows like Tom and Jerry, and even the imaginary ones do not do justice to the this incredible creature. They have 8 arms lined with suction pods, one of the only creatures with such a body structure. They also have three hearts making them even more awesome. This is aside from the cool part, where they have no internal skeleton or shell, thus giving them the ability to take almost any shape and squeeze through surprisingly narrow openings. Add to that intelligence and an unbelievably accurate ability to camouflage and you have all the ingredients to a super- creature. An incredibly awe inspiring 8 legged, 3 hearted, camouflaging, marine animal with amoebic flexibility. I’m surprised that there isn’t a comic called Octopus Man.
Just in case you missed out on how utterly amazing the octopus is, it can also ink predators and regrow lost arms with no permanent damage.
Places to spot: Pacific Ocean, and off the coast of most countries with a coastline
6. Dive with a Sunfish
The Mola-Mola/Sunfish is a strange looking fish. The vertically flattened shape, the ghostly look and its peculiar fins contribute to its odd appearance. Quixotically, the sunfish is also known as the moonfish, and is known to enjoy sunbathing. Wildly popular amongst divers due to its rarity, witnessing a sunfish in its natural environment is pretty high on my list of dive experiences to be had.
Places to spot: These are found all over the world but famous mainly off the waters of Europe and Thailand
Author Bio: Hi, I am Ankit. I love adventures and the outdoors and am the go-to guy if you need a sparring partner in adventures or sports 🙂 I write about my travels on AlienAdv with a mission to inspire thousands to get off the couch and get going on lifetime experiences. I share my own travel stories (in the South East Asia and internationally) and my best tips and advice on issues like road-trips, scuba-diving nuggets, surfing, sailing and paragliding. You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter.