Sometimes we have such special experiences that they remain etched in our memory and nature, in this, really knows how to surprise us in the most spectacular and unexpected way. When we are faced with animals, situations, landscapes, and phenomena that we did not expect to see, their effect on us is particularly strong.
This also happened to Jacinta Shackleton , a 26-year-old marine biologist, when, while diving in the waters of Lady Elliot Island, an Australian island surrounded by coral reefs, she came across a very rare individual of a creature marine known as the ornate eagle ray ( Aetomylaeus vespertilio in its scientific name), a cartilaginous fish “related” to the ray. An extremely rare creature, filmed in all its splendor.
This very particular fish is indeed part of an endangered species, considered very threatened . Imagine the situation. if swimming underwater in a place as spectacular as the coral reef is already such a fantastic experience, meeting a creature like this made it magical .
Shackleton claimed to have been literally bewitched by the ornate eagle ray which, for 10 long minutes, allowed her to swim alongside her as she filmed it . The video, then shared on his Instagram profile, went around the world, giving everyone the opportunity to admire a scene of undeniable appeal.
image credit: jacintashackleton/Instagram
The biologist said she was especially impressed with the incredible colors and patterns the fish has on its back. The species is so rare that there have been fewer than 70 sightings worldwide. Intensive man-made fishing has gradually reduced the number of specimens, increasing the danger of extinction.
All of this is all the more special as the encounter with this fascinating fish, for Hyacinth, took place during her last dive before the island was closed to visitors due to the coronavirus. It almost seems that this very rare animal, in a way, has “waited” for it in the aquatic depths, confirming, if it was still needed, how wonderful and varied the environment that welcomes us is.