Top Animals Every Scuba Diver Should Have On Their Bucket List

Scuba diving provides some truly unique opportunities. Divers can get up close and personal with a part of our world that most people never get a chance to see. They can explore beautiful coral reefs, wrecks that are hundreds of years old, and see animals that are so bizarre they seem made up. Speaking of animals, there are some that are so amazing they should be on the bucket lists of every serious scuba diver on the planet. Here’s a look at some of those animals.

Whale Shark

An encounter with a whale shark is something that most divers dream about all of their lives. There are plenty of places around the globe where spontaneous interactions can occur but if you’re wanting a guaranteed encounter, consider booking a snorkeling trip out of one of many locations in Mexico where the animals make annual migrations.

Pygmy Seahorse

These adorable little seahorses are extremely hard to find. They only grow to a maximum length of about an inch, and they can only be found in the Coral Triangle region of Southeast Asia. It’s unknown how many of the seahorses there are as it’s been difficult to measure their population numbers. So, if you do encounter one in the wild, be very careful not to disturb it.

Leafy Seadragon

Another member of the seahorse family, this particular species is known by many divers and scientists as a “leafy.”  They resemble the dragons found in literature, and if you want to see them your best bet is to head to Edithburgh and the Rapid Jetty—the best spot on the planet to find them.

Manta Ray

These giant stingrays can have a wingspan of up to 23 feet and to see them glide through the water is truly a majestic experience. They’re filter feeders and unfortunately, they’re hunted for their gill rakers. Because of this, they’re considered vulnerable for extinction by the International Union of Conservation.

Variable Neon Slug

This sea slug is one of the most colorful on the planet. It can grow up to 4 inches long and if you happen to have a camera with you when you spot one, don’t pass up the opportunity—professional photographers go their whole careers waiting for an opportunity to capture one on film.