Ocean News

Can Manta Rays Recognise People?

6th November 2009

Could it be that the world’s brainiest fish is able to remember a good deed and show gratitude? An experience by SOSF project leader Guy Stevens certainly seems to point that way. On a recent dive, he found and freed a giant manta caught in some fishing line. Incredibly the manta allowed Guy to swim over to it and cut the line off without struggling or trying to swim away. Guy counts this as one of his most memorable experiences underwater. Guy identified the manta and then finished the dive hoping one day to see the manta again.

And a few days later he did. Diving with a group of other divers Guy saw and recognised the manta he had freed only a few days earlier. Read Guy’s full version of the encounter.

Guy Stevens tells us about the manta he rescued. (Go to video page or watch on YouTube)

Guy is featured in the BBC series Natural World on Wednesday 11 November 2009 (on BBC2 at 8pm, and afterwards online via BBC I-Player). The film Andrea: Queen of Mantas is about the revelatory manta research by SOSF-funded scientist Andrea Marshall.