An unsuspecting photographer had a pink manta ray pictured swimming off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Underwater photographer Kristian Laine went out to the Great Barrier Reef near Lady Elliot Island, Australia, to snap some photos of turtles, manta rays, and sharks.
When he first noticed the underbelly of one of the manta rays was pink, he thought his camera was playing tricks on him.
“I had never even heard of a pink manta and when I first saw it, I thought my camera was playing up,” he told ScienceAlert.
“Only later that night I saw a photo of a pink manta on the restaurant’s notice board and thought it was a joke until I rushed to check the belly patterns in my camera.”
It’s believed fish distinctive color is caused by some sort of genetic mutation which affects the color of its melanin, a skin pigment. The process which causes this may be similar to albinism in humans.
Reef manta rays tend to come in three different colors: black, white, and a combination of the two
“There has not been a thorough investigation into diet or stable isotope analysis, but given the stability of the white ‘birthmark’ … and pink colour over time, we think diet can be ruled out,” Asia Armstrong of Project Manta said in a statement to Manta Trust.