It Looks Like The Perfect Autumnal Scenery...But These Are Not Huge Leaves! Amazing and Terrifying!

Monday, September 15, 2014 | |
Looking like giant leaves floating in the sea, thousands of Golden Rays are seen here gathering off the coast of Mexico. The spectacular scene was captured as the magnificent creatures made one of their biannual mass migrations to more agreeable waters.
Taken off the coast of Mexico's Holbox Island by amateur photographer Sandra Critelli, this breathtaking picture captures the migration of thousands of rays as they follow the clockwise current from Mexico's Yucatan peninsula to western Florida.

Looking down from your boat, imagine you saw this all the way to the horizon.
It's a migration of epic proportion. A migration of golden rays! They migrate twice yearly: north in late spring (as pictured here) and south in late autumn.
The rays pictured here are venomous golden cow-nose rays. The venom carried by these majestic creatures, which is transferred via the stinger located on the ray’s tail, can be life threatening if it comes into contact with humans. The stinger itself comes in the form of a razor-sharp spine that grows from the creature’s tail. This whip-like structure can reach almost 15 inches (38cm).
They typically move in groups of 10,000 members, making the ocean's surface appear golden as they go.
And although majestic looking, don't get too close. Their poisonous stinger has been known to kill humans. However, such cases are rare. Stingrays are more likely to flee than fight, and generally only attack if they feel that they have no other options. 
Despite the fact that attacks are rare, if you ever happen upon a mass migration you should not launch yourself into their midst. Tempting though it may be, not only could this cause the rays unnecessary stress and duress, it could endanger your life. Such feats should only be attempted by experienced divers and those individuals who know how to swim among the rays without interfering.
Gliding silently beneath the waves, they turned vast areas of blue water to gold off the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Critelli stumbled across the phenomenon while looking for whale sharks. 
It looks like the surface of the water was covered by warm and different shades of gold and gives the impression of a bed of autumn leaves gently moved by the wind. Nature gives the best photos ever...and that's definitely one of those times!

Photos: Sandra Critelli, Rory Moore
Source: Viralnova

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