Visiting Mexico in the summer? One of the best things you can do during your visit is to check out the beach.
And for an even more memorable adventure, you may want to swim with the whale sharks. These docile creatures are seen only in a few parts of the globe during certain times of the year, and it’s a real treat that they visit the coasts of the Yucatan Peninsula around May to September every year, which is the regular whale sharks season in Mexico.
If you’re interested to swim with whale sharks but are a little curious to know more about them (or afraid to swim with these giants, we won’t judge you), then here are some useful facts about whale sharks:
Fact 1: Whale sharks are sharks, but they’re the filter-feeding species, which means they feed by straining food from the water. Their food include plankton and micro-algae, which are suctioned from the water and pass through filtering pads located at the throat of the whale sharks.
Fact 2: Whale sharks are huge. According to recorded data, the biggest whale shark measures 41.5 foot long while the heaviest weighs almost 80,000 pounds. According to unrecorded data, however, there are whale sharks that reach almost 60 feet in length and weigh almost 100,000 pounds.
Fact 3: The mouth of whale sharks is gigantic, measuring from around 1.5 yards across. They also have tiny teeth, as many as 350 rows of them. Strangely enough, because they’re filter feeders, they don’t use their teeth to eat.
Fact 4: Because of their nature, WHALE SHARKS DON’T EAT HUMANS (probably the most important fact here). In fact, when people swim with them, they sometimes allow someone to grab on them and go along as they swim.
Fact 5: Whale sharks live from around 70 to 100 years old. Baby whale sharks are called pups, and there can be as many as hundreds of pups in one birth. But although this might give the impression that there are so many whale sharks in the ocean, they’re actually endangered because of ocean pollution and climate change. We can help by not contributing further to these phenomena.
Fact 6: Whale sharks stay in tropical seas. In the Yucatan Peninsula, they are typically seen in the coasts of Holbox and Isla Mujeres from May to September. Because of their unique spot pattern, people in the area call them ‘dominos’.
Fact 7: There are tours in the Yucatan peninsula that are designed to give visitors an experience to swim with whale sharks. Although these sharks are in the area from May to September, the peak season and the best time to see the whale sharks in Mexico is July and August.
Are you now ready to swim with whale sharks? It will surely be a once in a lifetime experience! Try it here!