14th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
A manta ray swimming through the currents in Fiji
In this photo, a lone manta ray is swimming through a narrow channel between two Islands in the Yasawa chain, Fiji. What can not be seen in the photo is the strong current that, even with fins, you could not fight against. Also, there are thousands of microscopic jellyfish and sea lice that stung me all over! Many of my friends could not stay in the water for long because of the stings but I toughed it out to see these amazing creatures.
The manta ray is feeding on the plankton present in the current. This photo may look like there was only one manta ray, but there were at least seven that swam past me. From the image being so far away you can also not see the sheer size of the manta ray. It was easily longer than me in width and almost my height in length (I am 5’8’’ for measure). Also, it looks like the deep sea but where I shot the photo it was only about fifteen feet deep.
This photo represents sustainable travel to me because this photo captures the beauty of the natural world with no human interference. Also, the only reason I was able to take this photo and travel to Fiji was through a program working on marine conservation and preservation. Through being able to show the beauty of the ocean and its creatures through my photography I hope to spread my love for the ocean to other people.
© Rose Lebow.
All rights reserved.
||Nov. 28, 2016, 3:11 p.m.
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