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World's only pink manta spotted again after nearly 3 years

The world’s only pink manta ray has been spotted again off the coast of Australia for the first time in nearly 3 years. A pink manta ra y named “Inspector Clouseau” (a reference to the movie The Pink Panther) has once again allowed itself to be photographed! This time the lucky photographer was Ben Canty,
Published: August 18, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 01:12
World’s only pink manta spotted again after nearly 3 years

The world’s only pink manta ray has been spotted again off the coast of Australia for the first time in nearly 3 years.

A pink manta ra y named “Inspector Clouseau” (a reference to the movie The Pink Panther) has once again allowed itself to be photographed! This time the lucky photographer was Ben Canty, who met the animal in the waters near Lady Elliot Island.

This unusual creature is a real rarity. “Inspector Clouseau”. For it is the only known specimen of the pink manta ray. The animal has been seen in the past, and its photographs became a real hit and went viral around the world.

Lady Elliot Island’s pink manta

The manta has taken a liking to the waters surrounding Lady Elliot Island and it is in this area that it has been seen so far. The pink manta was first spotted by divers in 2015, and from that moment its worldwide fame began.

In 2016, researchers at The University of Queensland, who run Project Manta, managed to collect a sample for testing. As a result, scientists determined that a genetic mutation was responsible for the animal’s unusual color.

Inspector Clouseau is the only manta ray in the world that has a black back and bright pink belly. Our current understanding is that this coloration is the result of a different expression in melanin. This is an example of erythrism, where an animal’s skin, hair, feathers or fur show reddish pigmentation Amelia Armstrong of the Manta Project said.

Today we already know that “Inspector Clouseau”. is a common manta ray(Mobula birostris) that has an unusual skin pigmentation. Researchers have also determined that the mutation, aside from the color, appears to have no effect on the animal’s function and the specimen looks healthy.

The last time the animal was seen in late 2019, and stunning photos of the encounter circulated around the world. Manta is so famous that it also has a cocktail named in its honor “Pink Manta”.

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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