10 extraordinary meetings in the Mediterranean Sea
Everyone knows that the Mediterranean Sea is a magic place, rich with life and hosting many of the most rare and beautiful creatures in the world. But do you know what you can find into its waters? Marinanow has made a list of the most magnificent creatures that you could find during a trip in the Mediterranean Sea:
1) Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas):
This particular type of Sea Turtle can weigh 500 Kg and its shell is multi-coloured, composed by yellow or marbled stripes on a dark-olive surface. This animal can migrate up to 200 km to find the perfect place to lay her eggs. The more common place is in Turkey, near the city of Marmaris, while some have also been seen in Sardinia, near Castelsardo.
2) Moonfish (Mola mola):
The Moonfish is the biggest boned fish in the world, it can grow up to 4 metres in height and weigh over 2000 Kg. Its skin can host fifty species of microorganisms and hangers-on that can also cause bio-luminescence. It has a long life, around one hundred years. These animals are scattered throughout the Mediterranean Sea, but the latest sighting has been along the Coast of Liguria, in Imperia.
3) Giant Sturgeon (Huso huso):
It is the biggest and finest example of sturgeons, the caviar produced by its eggs costs €8000/kilo. Sea pollution and the presence of dams that stop the fish swimming back up the rivers are the most common threats for this fascinating animal. The Giant Sturgeon is a migratory species that swims back up the rivers in spring to lay its eggs and can lay 8 million eggs each trip. The males reach up to 7.5 metres long and weigh 3.2 tonne. To find one of these animals in the Mediterranean Sea is almost impossible: the latest sighting was in the Adriatic Sea and in the Po river, but that was almost 30 years ago.
4) White Shark (carcharodon carcharias):
If you are a fan of Spielberg’s films you will know the largest predator in the world: the Great White Shark! Possibly because of the media or due to tails told by fishermen, the Great White Shark is one of the most fascinating and feared creatures in the sea. It regularly grows over 7 metres long and weighs over 2 tonnes and the Guinness book of records has one at 11.3 metres long (though many people attribute this to an error in conversion from feet to metres). In the Mediterranean Sea there is a specific area where the sharks go to reproduce between Sicily, Malta and Tunisia. This creature however usually is not a threat: the media has exaggerated the viciousness of this predator, though we still recommend not to go too near!
5) Killer Whale (Orcinus orca):
It is a sea mammal of the dolphin family and it is the natural enemy of the shark. This animal got its name from the Ancient Romans, with the adjective orcinus means “demon that come from by the hell”. A fully grown male will weigh around 10 tonnes and be 9 metres long and thanks its powerful tail has a top speed of 55 km/h. In the world there are almost 100.000 killer whales, of which 80.000 are in the Arctic. You can however occasionally see these creatures in the Mediterranean Sea, especially in the Aeolian Islands like Lipari and Panarea.
6) Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus):
This cetacean is one of the rarest types of dolphin that survives under captivity and for this reason it is often the subject matter of the research. It grows around 4 metres long, weighs 650 kg and unlike the common dolphin it doesn’t have the classic white stripes along its sides. They are very intelligent animals and their brains have a comparable size with the great ape’s brain. It is the most common cetacean in the Mediterranean Sea, with frequent sightings off the Coast of Sicily, in the Adriatic Sea and in the areas between Liguria, Tuscany and Sardinia.
7) Ghost Shark (Chimaera monstrosa):
This is a cartilage fish that lives on muddy deep sea-bottoms, setting up home as deep as 168o metres but more commonly at 300 metres. This fish isn’t edible, but it is being endangered by fishing nets. It is much smaller than the other creatures in our list at around 1 metre long and with a weight of 2.5 Kg. If you come in contact with this creature be careful because a prick from its dorsal fin can be incredibly painful.
8) Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus):
The Fin Whale is one of the biggest animals in the world, it is second only to the Blue Whale with lengths between 18 and 25 metres and weighing between 30 and 80 tonnes. This cetacean can dive to 230 meters and has a top speed of 30 km/h. The Zoological Society of London has named this one of the 100 mammals with the greatest risk of extinction. It is known to jump out of the water which is one of the most incredible sites you will ever see! The sightings of this whale are common near the Coast of Liguria.
9) Wolf fish (Oxynotus centrina):
It is a particular fish member of the Oxynotidae family, it has a very high body because of the lengthened dorsal fin. It lives at a depth of 100 and 700 metres and can grow to 1.5 metres long. Most sightings are in the North Mediterranean Sea, though they have been fished off the Island of Egina, near Athens.
10)Monk Seal (Monachus monachus):
There are as few as 500 monk seals in the world so it is one of the most precious creatures in the Mediterranean Sea. It is between 80 and 240 cm of long, weighs up to 240 Kg, and is known to dive to 100 meters. The reproduction of these animals is very slow, making only one puppy in a specific grotto or protected beaches. It has an average life span between 20 and 30 years but the presence of the man is threatening its survival. In the Aegean Sea and in the SW Mediterranean Sea there are almost 200 seals. The latest sighting was in 2013 off the Coast of Sicily, near the Islands of Egadi. Its probably is also present in Sardinia, particularly in the Gulf of Orosei, where there is a grotto dedicated to this amazing animal: “The Grotto of the Sea Ox”.
Have you ever seen one of this amazing creatures? What are you waiting for? Book a boat on our site and start your adventure to discover the treasures that the Mediterranean Sea has to offer!