© iStock/Divepic Blankets in Flight With fins as wide as wings, manta rays soar along ocean currents like birds in flight, making them one of the most elegant animals of the sea. The name ‘manta’ comes from the Spanish word blanket and with a wingspan of up to nine meters, it’s easy to see how they can look like a blanket floating in the sea. Scuba diving with mantas is one of the most amazing experiences any diver can have underwater. Giant oceanic manta rays are among the few, unique fish species that can jump completely out of the water. They have been seen jumping up to 2 meters from the water’s surface, most likely to rid parasites from their bodies, as scientists believe. Besides being good jumpers, they are also good communicators, communicating with other manta rays through noises they create with their “wings.” Although they are mostly plankton eaters, these animals have nearly 1,400 tiny teeth. Because they feed on plankton, they are best encountered in nutrient-rich waters which usually have reduced visibility. Experience this extraordinary spectacle by diving with giant manta rays as they feed. Click here to plan your next trip to sites where you can dive with Giant oceanic manta rays.