Gentle Giants of the Ocean


I chose to come to Mozambique because of one specific animal: the whale shark! Mozambique is the only country in the whole world where you can see whale sharks for the entire year. Other countires that whale sharks visit have a "whale shark season." These seasons are usually about two or three months where people can spot whale sharks swimming in the water. Mozambique has whale sharks all year long, so I am lucky enough to study them for the entire time I am here.

What does this creature or plant look like?:

Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the ocean. Adult whale sharks can be as long as two school buses lined up end to end. Even though their name calls them a whale first, they are true sharks. People don't need to fear them, though, because they only eat tiny creatures in the ocean called plankton. The sharks have huge mouths that they open as they swim to suck up all the plankton around them in the water. Whale sharks have a white belly and a blue top that is covered in white spots. I like to describe these sharks as underwater constellations! The spot pattern is different on each shark, just like how you and I have unique finger prints. People like me use photos for these spots to identify individual sharks.

How did I feel when I saw it?:

The first time I swam with a whale shark I was a little scared.