In our video and story about Whale shark Mania we have shown and told about our special encounter with 2 whale sharks. But even though whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean, we actually know very little about them. Weird because they are so big that they can hardly hide.
We do not know where the males and females meet. For a long time scientists thought that whale shark lay eggs. This is not the case, they are carrying their babies like humans. How long the females are pregnant and where they give birth is not known. Baby whale sharks can be 30 to 60 cm long at birth. In the past a female was found dead with 300 babies in her body.
There are several ongoing researches on these very beautiful animals. If you see a whale shark it is the requested to take a picture of both sides, preferably at least his/her left side and send it to www.whaleshark.org. The whale sharks dots and lines are unique, just like our fingerprint. At whaleshark.org they can see where the whale shark has been before or that it is a new one in their database. By researching their whereabouts, researchers try to map the migration behavior of the whale shark. Our first whale shark we saw in 2010 was not registered yet and is included in the database thanks to our photographs.
This year, Koh Tao has seen more whale sharks than ever before. How comes, nobody knows. This is being investigated and recorded by different organizations, including Koh Tao’s Facebook page: Koh Tao Whalesharks.
If you see a whale shark, you know what to do: enjoy it and take a photo from the left side and send it to whaleshark.org.
Please take notice of the Code of Conduct when approaching a whale shark: