Whale sharks in India are commonly found breeding in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
However, during the months of February and March they are often spotted passing in the Bay of Bengal waters.
These particular months in Pondicherry are also some of the best to go scuba diving. With excellent visibility and an abundance of colourful fish life, Pondicherry is also blessed with whale sharks!
We, at Temple Adventures love these months as our divers get to explore all our reefs and get to see the world’s largest fish!
We thought that since it is the season of whale sharks in India, Pondicherry; let’s talk about these gentle giants.
So here are five fun facts about whale sharks.
1. World’s Largest Fish
Whale sharks are the world’s largest known fish species! Their size can easily range from 9 metres t0 12 metres and sometimes more. The largest whale shark to be surveyed was a whooping 18.8 metres long! That is how deep a PADI Open Water diver can dive to!
2. They are NOT whales
The whale shark may have a slightly confusing name attached to it. Though they might look like whales; they are in fact sharks! So by default they also become the world’s largest known shark.
Taking the PADI Fish Identification Speciality course can help you identify how sharks are different from whales.
3. Whale sharks live extremely long lives
Whale sharks are known to have an average life span of 70 years and can even go up to living to a 100 years! Though upon birth, the mother leaves the pup to fend for itself. Which results in only 10% of the pups actually making it to an adult life.
4. They can undertake almost 6000 litres of water
The whale shark is a busy creature that can process 6000 litres of water in an hour with the help of their gills!
5. Whale sharks have thousands of teeth
While this is known to be true, these gentle giants cannot actually chew or bite! They are primarily filter feeding fish and depend of sieving plankton via their gills for food.
Whale Sharks in India are Endangered
Whale sharks in India are a protected species. In May 2001, whale sharks were added to the Schedule I of India’s Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. So that the hunting of these species could be stopped, as they are endangered.
Whale sharks frequent Pondicherry every year during the months of February and March. So if you are waiting for an invitation to visit and learn about these incredible creatures, this is it!
Send us a message to book in some dives now!