Whale shark tours often run between May and September of each year, and apart from bird watching, scuba diving and the many other things to do in Cancun and the surrounding Riviera Maya, whale shark encounters are probably the most unique and special experiences one can have.
Here are three things you didn’t know about whale sharks:
1. Whale sharks have been tracked to migrate all around the world. Large populations can be found congregating just off some of the best beaches in the world, in the Yucatan Peninsula, but they’ve also been tracked to the mid-Atlantic and spotted in the Red Sea.
2. With a throat the size of a quarter and a diet that mainly consists of plankton, filter-feeding whale sharks are of no threat to humans, but that doesn’t go both ways. The IUCN Red List flags whale sharks as a threatened species, and international cooperation is required to keep these enormous beauties swimming free in the ocean.
3. Most experts agree that whale sharks reach maturity around age 30, but their total life expectancy is unknown – and estimates are all over the map. According to some, whale sharks probably die in their sixties, while others speculate that they can live to be 100 or even 150 years old.