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Diving with the greatest predators underwater - sharks

Shark Awareness Day is upon us! To honor these powerful, majestic creatures, here are the world’s best dive spots for amazing shark encounters. Humans have always been fascinated by these large predators. Seeing a shark underwater can be a heart-pounding, thrilling, and unforgettable experience. Get your underwater camera ready and come explore some of the best places on the planet to encounter sharks!

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Yongala Wreck

SS Yongala Wreck - The boat is now an artificial reef with amazing marine life that are supersized compared to seeing them on the Great Barrier Reef. You cannot penetrate or touch the wreck as it is a grave site but this doesn’t take away from this amazing dive. Can have very strong currents.

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Long Caye Aquarium

This is a great little wall dive with the reef starting in just 20 feet of water (good for snorkelers) but then drops off into hundreds of feet deep. The visibility is great, and there is much to see!

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Atlantis

The structures on this reef remind one of the a sunken city with huge square boulders simulating lego blocks that have been placed on the ocean floor. Whip Corals and large Green, Black and White tree corals grow from between the crevices and the side walls of the reef.

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La Vallée blanche, Tahiti

One of the most beautiful dive of Tahiti for its fauna. Grey sharks, white tip, black tip, lemon and sometimes even the majestic tiger shark. The dive is particularly recommended for drift diving.

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Jardines

A great site for beginning divers and snorkelers as this reef is shallow, clear, and has little to no current. One of the most beautiful dives in Playa del Carmen, Jardines reef offers many small caves and shelters for schools of fish to hide. Lots of reef life here to see.

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Stuart Cove’s Shark Arena

Also known as “The Arena,“ this is the most popular site of Stuart Cove’s famous Shark Adventure. During the dive, you will kneel on the sand bottom and form a semicircle in front of the professional shark feeder who will place a bait box in the center to attract the sharks.

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Aliwal Shoal

Aliwal Shoal is a fossilized Sand Dune with interesting and unique mountain like reef structures that holds many swim throughs, gullies and crevices to explore. The reef is only accessible by boat, there is no shore entries. The surf launch is part of the adventure. Boats are 8.5m Rubber Ducks/Ribb

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Gordon Rocks, Galapagos

Near to the Santa Cruz Island and also known as the “washing machine”, you find the Gordon Rocks. Due to currents and upwellings, this dive site is suitable for advanced divers. On this site you will see hammerhead sharks and the famous oceanic sunfish (mola mola).

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Alcyone, Cocos Island

Alcyone is an underwater mountain off Cocos Island. Strong to very strong current is always possible. Descent on the rope. There is a maximum depth of 30 meters. Great dive experience required! This is a great dive site that is always worth it as everything is possible here!

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Discover the world’s most fascinating aquatic life

Aquatic life under our oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams is amazing! From microscopic zooplankton to the largest animal on earth, the blue whale, underwater life comes in all possible shapes and sizes. With 71% of the earth being covered with water, it is no wonder we are so fascinated with what lies beneath the surface. In fact, scientists estimate that there are nearly 1 million different species of aquatic animals. Freshwater ecosystems are home mainly to fish, invertebrates, and reptiles, whereas the ocean contains a wide array of marine life including fish, mollusks, crustaceans, reptiles, sharks, and marine mammals like whales, dolphins, seals, and manatees.

Whale Shark

The whale shark is not only the largest of all sharks, but also the biggest fish in the world. It can grow up to 20 meters long, weigh 34 tons, and live for over 100 years. Its back can appear gray, brown, or blue in color and is covered with bright white stripes and spots arranged in transverse lines.

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Great White Shark

With females able to grow up to 7 meters long, the great white shark is the largest predatory fish on earth. It owes its name to its light, almost white, belly color, making it almost invisible to prey looking up from the seafloor. It’s body is similar in construction to a torpedo, making them very good, fast swimmers. In fact, they can reach speeds of up to 25 km/h and, like whales, have the ability to launch their entire body out of the water. Not many species prey on great whites, but if it is attacked, it can rolls its eyes inward for protection. Their eyes can absorb weak light, allowing them to see better in twilight than a cat.

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Tiger Shark

Tiger sharks are omnivores, having the widest food spectrum of all the sharks, and will eat virtually anything they can fit between their jaws, including fish, rays, seals, sea snakes, even seabirds and turtles. This makes them especially vulnerable to the effects of ocean trash as they will not hesitate to eat garbage like tires, plastic bags, and even car license plates. The special, extremely sharp shape of their teeth allow them to bite through the shells of turtles, crustaceans, and even bones. Their name comes from the dark tiger-like vertical striped bodies of the younger sharks, which fade and are usually absent in adults.

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Mako Shark

The mako shark has an incredibly special skin structure that allows it to swim up to 80 km/h, making them the fastest fish in the world. Due to its speed, they can cover enormous distances of up to 55 km per day and can actually jump up to 9 meters out of the water! These animals can be found throughout the world’s oceans in both tropical and temperate waters.

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Blue Shark

The blue shark is easily recognizable by its muzzle, longer than it is wide with a slight upward bend. It gets its name, however, from the bright blue color of its skin. This creature is also notable for its very large eyes and the nearly black tips of its fins. They live almost exclusively in the open sea and can dive up to 350 meters deep, therefore, it’s unlikely you will ever encounter these sleek swimmers near the coast. Getting to dive with blue sharks is an incredible experience as they are very curious and like to swim close to divers. Because of their curiosity it is important to treat them with respect, not attempting to touch or handle them in any way.

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Great Hammerhead Shark

The muzzle of the great hammerhead shark is probably the most recognizable of all species as its entire body shape clearly resembles a hammer. Their heads are very unique in that its width is about 25% of the entire length of the shark. The specialized shape of their snout helps them to hunt, as it is home to electro receptors. This amazing sensory organ allows them to find prey along the seafloor like stingrays, octopus, smaller sharks, and squid. The shape of their head also helps them hold their prey with their snout while eating. It is impressive to experience these extraordinary animals underwater and get to admire their specialized physique. The best chance to dive with hammerhead sharks is in tropical and subtropical coastal areas.

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Thresher Shark

The thresher shark has a very unusual body shape, making it easy to distinguish from other sharks. Its caudal fin is exceptionally large with a strong tail root. The upper part of the caudal fin can grow to be as long as the entire length of the shark’s body. They use this powerful fin as a weapon when hunting, using the elongated tail to hit smaller fish and stun them before eating. Experiencing this unique hunting method live is like nothing you’ve seen before while scuba diving.

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Bull Shark

Bull sharks have a very unique ability to adapt perfectly to their environment, allowing them to live in both salt and fresh water. Being one of the few marine species that are able to survive in both fresh and saltwater allows them to frequent rivers and coastal areas alike, commonly putting them into close contact with humans. This frequent proximity to humans has unfortunately put them at the top of the list for shark attacks. Done right, however, scuba diving in clear ocean water with bull sharks can be a thrilling, one-in-a-lifetime experience. These creatures are usually around the 3 meters long, however, they grow very slowly, which means that they are not fully grown until about 10 years old.

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Check out incredible moments water enthusiasts like you experience every day with SSI

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