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Whale Shark Facts for Scuba Divers


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In The Water With Giants
photo of two whale sharks feeding near the surface in Mexico

A snorkeler swims with two whale sharks off the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

© Becky Kagan Schott, 2012

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SWIM! Two enormous mouths loomed under the ocean's surface. The mouths were attached to bus-sized whale sharks and were only feet from my fins. I swam as fast I could, but they were gaining on me. Distracted by attempting to keep my feet out of their gaping maws, I nearly swam into a third shark's mouth. I wasn't scared. Am I insanely brave? An adrenaline junky? Hardly. Whale sharks are gentle filter feeders and pose no danger to humans. I was simply trying to get out of these feeding giants' path to avoid disturbing their breakfast. In the end, I duck-dived down and to the left, just as the oncoming shark split to the right, narrowly avoiding a whale shark traffic collision. My morning was turning into an adventure story, and it was only eight a.m.

Click through this guide for more whale shark photos, facts, and information about how and where you can swim with these giant fish!

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