Maldives Diving? Expect a Stunning Array of Marine-life

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Maldives Diving? Expect a Stunning Array of Marine-life

With such a massive diversity and sheer quantity of marine-life, a Maldives diving holiday can often some of the best scuba experiences on the planet. Listing every species would take up a whole website, let alone a single blog, so we’ve limited our list to some of the most common.

Whether you’re heading off on a Maldives diving holiday this year, or are simply dreaming of the day you do, here’s a quick introduction to the fishes you might see underwater.

Brightly coloured with distinct markings (hence the name!), these stunning fish inhabit the coral reefs and protect themselves from predators at night-time by covering themselves in a mucous cocoon. These curious creatures are one of those most commonly seen by divers in these waters.

Another Maldives’ resident, but more guarded than the parrot-fish. Expect to see several different species on a Maldives diving holiday, with the Titan triggerfish most common; this species is also one of the more aggressive and has been known to ram and bite divers with their powerful jaws when threatened.

These friendly, orange- and white-striped ‘Nemo’ fish can be seen in abundance on most Maldives diving trips, and are usually found swimming through the tropical waters or hiding the in sea anemones.

With their large heads and prominent teeth, these predators have a threatening appearance, although they rarely attack divers. To enjoy watching these solitary fish safely, remove jewellery and other shiny objects that may attract them.

Moorish Idol
Another species of Finding Nemo fame. The Moorish Idol tend to swim alone and are easily distinguishable by their long dorsal fin, long snout and thick, black stripes.

Manta Ray
The largest species of ray in the world, manta rays can have fin spans of more than seven metres. With around 10,000 manta rays inhabiting the Maldives’ waters year-round, your chances of seeing one on a Maldives diving holiday are pretty high! Find them clustering in groups of 100 individuals or more, at ‘cleaning stations’ throughout the archipelago.

Around the coral reefs you can expect to see big schools of sweetlips, with oriental sweetlips the most common – this species can be characterised by their yellow facial markings and black and white body markings.

A relation of the shark, stingrays possess venomous stinger tails, but are docile creatures that tend to swim away when threatened. Their flat, dark grey bodies allow them to easily camouflage themselves on the sandy seabed, where they can sometimes still be spotted swaying with the tides.

There are stacks of different species of wrasse in the Maldives, with napoleon wrasse the most common, and they can reach up to 2.5 metres in length; Manta Point in North Male Atoll is one of the best places to encounter them.

Reef sharks
The sharks you’re likely to meet on a Maldives diving holiday will generally be the non-aggressive kind, with grey reef sharks and white-tip reef sharks the most common.

Zebra Shark
Nocturnal creatures, zebra sharks are best viewed at night-time when they emerge from their daytime slumber on the sea floor to propel themselves through the water, in search of food.

Whale Sharks
The largest fish in the world live here throughout the year, feeding on the abundant plankton found in the Maldives’ waters. Easily distinguished by their wide mouths, and dark bodies flecked with white freckles, they tend to feed near the surface so can be easily viewed by snorkelers and divers alike.

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