Whale Sharks and Where to Find Them

Everyone loves a good shark tale, and with the size of the shark comes the size of the story. Many divers remember their first whale shark sighting, and with good reason, the species can grow up to 18 meters and, if it wanted to, it could swallow you whole. Luckily, it doesn’t want to do that, because this large shark only has an appetite for small things. It spends its day floating steadily through the water gulping down plankton and journeying to its next destination. Along this journey, the whale shark hits several destinations, and people all over the world are welcome to watch from a reasonable distance, as there’s not an ounce of aggression in the creature’s body.

Derawan Islands, Indonesia

A whale shark lurks in the dark in Kalimantan. Photo by Beth Watson

This one is a favorite of Deepblu’s own Madlen Müller, who suggested it enthusiastically when I said I was writing this piece. Derawan is a top tourist destination, and in no small part is that directly a result of the whale sharks that come to bask in the waters. Divers, snorkelers, and even land loving boat-tour-takers come from all over the world to see the beauty in its natural habitat.

Quintana Roo, Mexico

It’s coming right for you, but slowly. Photo: Underwater Mexico

With calm waters, clear skies, and seemingly infinite visibility, the waters off of Mexico are the perfect place the treat yourself to a whale shark dive. The folks at Underwater Mexico are enthusiastic divers and conservationists who go the extra mile to make sure that not only you, but the sharks, are taken care of.

Phuket, Thailand

If the shores don’t draw you in, the waters will. Photo: Merlin Divers Phuket

The warm waters and vibrant nightlife bring people from all over to Phuket, and boat tours can be incredibly cheap, so many will venture off to the nearby islands to get a glimpse of the flora and fauna off of the mainland. While Koh Phi Phi is a popular destination, there are many more islands to be discovered, and between them, whale sharks abound. Grab your self a good guide, and you’ll find them.

Oslob, Philippines

Coming up to feed. Photo by Deepblu User 手瓜粗过你大腿

Local whale shark watching businesses in this well-known destination promise a 99% success rate in seeing whale sharks on your journey. While many disagree with the feeding practices of some companies, it does, in fact, make it a great place to see the creatures up-close. Many scuba tours in the area will include breakfast and lunch on each end of a nice morning dive.

Gladden Reef, Belize

How’s that for color? Photo by Splash Dive Center

Belize is home to a rainbow of reefs and wildlife, and at Gladden Reef you can find yourself immersed in waters full of whale sharks. In addition to going deeper to see the smaller creatures that call the reef home, if you look up, you’re bound to find one of these beauties above your head, floating like a cloud in the sky.

Find your ultimate whale shark diving experience on Planet Deepblu.