A Heads-Up from Hurawalhi: Regular Sightings of Mobula Rays on the House Reef

15 May 2017

Hurawalhi Maldives is not only making the headlines for being one of the country’s trendiest new resorts and for being home to the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant, but also for the fascinating encounters that snorkellers and divers can expect to see when they get their hair wet on the resort’s house reef. Currently, it’s mobula rays that are receiving the most attention.

Manta Trust started to collect data on mobula ray sightings too, and Hurawalhi’s Marine Biology Center now monitors the Lhaviyani Atoll mobula ray population. We’ve been encouraging our divers and snorkellers to take pictures and videos of mobula rays and report their sightings to Lisa, the resident marine biologist.

The reason why we’re interested in manta rays’ equally beautiful cousins, the mobula, a.k.a. devil rays? Mobulas are shy and mysterious creatures and very little is known about them; up until now, no systematic research was conducted, so the initiative by Manta Trust is the first attempt to unravel the mobulas’ lives and to gain insights into their movements throughout the Maldives.

In other words: all those of you who support the project by reporting your sightings can proudly say are among the pioneers of mobula ray research in the Maldives!

Mobula ray sightings are generally rare in the Maldives, so having regular encounters with them just off Hurawalhi is extremely special.

Should you have spotted mobula rays during your stay at Hurawalhi or elsewhere in the Maldives, do let us know! Please email your sightings, past or future, to Lisa, our Manta Trust researcher, at, including the location, date, any pictures or videos of the encounter and a rough count of the individual rays.

Take a look at the three Mobula kuhlii, the Shortfin Pygmy Devil Ray, that were feeding for more than one hour right next to 5.8 Undersea Restaurant in very shallow water.