May 26, 2023
CM Content Team
There lies a fascinating world underwater. If you have always been fascinated about marine life and want to dive into the realms of underwater and see the beautiful wonders, ranging from coral reefs to swimming with the whale sharks, the options are aplenty. The underwater world is a treasure trove that is just waiting to be explored. With World Ocean Day just around the corner, which is celebrated worldwide on June 8, let’s look at some of the best places in the world to witness the rich underwater life. But, before we list down the places, let us know about what International Ocean Day is and its significance.
World Oceans Day is an annual event organised by the UN (United Nations). The concept was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the world’s oceans, one of nature's best resources, and raise awareness about its role in human lives and the importance of protecting it.
Every year, the UN decides a specific theme and the theme for World Oceans Day 2023 is ‘Planet Ocean – Tides are Changing.’ With this theme, the UN aims to uncover the hidden facets of our planet and safeguard and preserve our oceans.
Palau is a tiny nation located off Western Pacific. This archipelago may not feature prominently on the world tourism map but it is home to some of the best diving spots in the world and the marine creatures.
Amongst the diverse animals that live in the ocean, the Jellyfish are beautiful to look at. Just seeing them ballooning up and swimming freely in the water is a sight to behold. You may have seen the colourful jellyfish on TV and wanted to touch it, right? However, there are different species of jellyfish and some of them contain stinging cells that can cause serious pain, hence, experts recommend staying away from them.
But the marine jellyfish lake located on Eil Malk Island in Palau is home to two species of jellyfish – moon jellyfish and the golden jellyfish, which exists only here in this marine lake. Both these species have a very mild and undetectable sting, which make it safe for you to swim with them. Just as fascinating it is to swim with these jellyfishes, the lake itself has an interesting history. It is one of the oldest lakes in the world and as per experts, it is more than 12,000 years old. And millions of jellyfishes swim across the lake every day.
Travelling to Hawaii is a dream for many and is at the top of the must-visit places for many enthusiastic travellers. While Hawaii’s beauty needs no introduction, one of the most precious and pristine gems in the region is the Big Island. It is a mecca for all the wildlife enthusiasts, and especially those with a penchant for discovering underwater life.
The Big Island is a natural paradise, in every sense of the word, and its beauty is incomparable. It is also one of nature’s well-kept mysteries as is evident by the presence of one of the most active volcanoes in the world and its reputation for being the wettest city in the US (United States). In a nutshell, it is an island of fire and ice, and makes for a perfect Hawaiian holiday destination.
If you are looking to get under the water, brace yourself to have a tryst with one of the most fascinating marine creatures – the Kona Manta Rays. These islands are known to be the best places on earth to see these beautiful marine species being their playful best in their natural habitat. The island is home to more than 240 Manta Rays, all of which are identified and named.
Seeing these Manta Rays underwater at about 30-40 feet, especially at night, is a sight to behold. As they pass by with their expansive wings, it feels like they are flying underwater. And when they are in a group, their underwater gimmicks are a cynosure to the eye; it is an experience of a lifetime!
A tropical paradise, Bahamas is one of the prettiest islands in the world. Known for its stunning beaches, people from all over the world come here to bask in the sun, sand and sea. While the beaches are one of nature’s finest spectacles, there is a different world under the water of these beaches that is absolutely surreal!
Among the many tiny islands, Bimini is the closest island to the USA and is located about 50 miles from the Florida coast. As alluring and charming as the island is, it is the best place to see Atlantic Spotted Dolphins. Known to be the most playful and friendly of all marine animals, these dolphins are a treat to the eyes.
They are like little puppies in the water who don’t shy away from getting up close and personal with you and asking for love, attention and care. They are super playful and sometimes if you are lucky, you may get to see an entire pod or a super pod. These dolphins have the tendency to imitate your emotions, the more playing and enthusiastic you are around, the better they respond to you.
Apart from dolphins, there are tons of other beautiful marine creatures to spot here that are equally fascinating. From marine plants to coral reefs, the riot of colours underwater is just magnificent! Lastly, the most significant appeal of this island lies in the fact that it is believed to be the spot where the fabled city of Atlantis got lost under the water.
South Africa is known for its wildlife safari tourism on land. Several people from all over the world come here to spot the big cats, including lions, cheetahs and leopards in their natural habitat, which are the main attraction here. Also, Africa’s vast and sprawling jungles are home to thousands of other species.
If South Africa’s wildlife on land is legendary, the underwater animal kingdom is even better. Known for offering several underwater activities, South Africa’s Dyer Island expedition deserves a special mention. The Dyer Island, which was originally named Ilha da Fera, which translates to ‘Island of wild creatures’ is a group of islands, located about five miles from Gansbaai, Africa.
Close to Dyer Island is Geyser Rock, and the section between the two is called the ‘Shark Alley.’ Since many seals live in this area, the ocean’s greatest predator, sharks are also rife who visit the island to feed on the seals. The alley is a wonderful destination to go cage diving and see the creatures of the ocean up close.
This activity is not recommended to the ones with a faint heart. But if you have a penchant for thrill and adventure, you cannot ask for a better adventure in life. It is a life-time opportunity to get inside a cave, and watch the sharks, one of the most beautiful yet fierce marine animals coming right up to you. Just seeing how massive and beautiful these sharks could be overwhelming and the experience is sure to be etched in your memory forever!
Apart from the Sharks, the place is a marine wonderland as there are so many other beautiful fishes to see. Also, the seals, displaying their acrobatics and diving deep in the ocean to hunt, are a sight to behold. Are you already planning a trip to South Africa to have this experience, go for it, it would be worth every dime, we bet!
When you think of Canadian wildlife, your mind may immediately wander to the snowy regions of the country and the polar bears, and the grizzly bears. And you are absolutely right. Canada is home to many bears. In fact, Churchill, a small and quaint town in Northern Manitoba is termed the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World.’
This scenic town draws many tourists and expedition experts who come here to see and observe these bears. While these bears are awesome to look at, this beautiful town has something better to offer. The waters of the Churchill River are home to the magnificent and breathtaking Beluga Whales.
More than 57,000 of these whales frequent the warm waters of the Churchill River during the months of July and August and is a massive summer attraction of this town. The Beluga Whales are often referred to as the ‘Ocean Canaries’ as they appear to sing and hum like birds underwater. How awesome it would be to swim with these beautiful whales and see the underwater life as they feed on the planktons!
When you talk about the best places in the world to witness the rich marine life, the Great Barrier Reef has to inevitably feature in the discussion. Unarguably the most beautiful places on earth to dive, it is home to the largest coral reef. The diversity of underwater life that thrive here is unimaginable and seeing it while snorkelling is an humbling experience.
There are more than 2900 individual coral reefs here and innumerable marine animals like turtles, different species of sharks, manta rays, sea stars, and more live here.
If you have always wanted to dive into the ocean to see marine life, this is the place to be! With World Oceans Day 2023 coming up, now would be the best time to plan and head off on your greatest expedition ever.
Now that you are aware of the awesome places to see marine life, which of these places excites you the most? Each of the places have something unique to offer and all of them are worth exploring. So, make it your life goal and start ticking them off one by one.
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.