Whale sharks embody their name. They are the largest living non-mammalian vertebrate in the ocean, measuring up to 12.65 meters (41.5 feet) and weighing in excess of 21.5 tons (47,000 pounds). Yet this behemoth of the water is a filter feeder, a gentle giant that does not often pose a threat to humans.

In Indonesia’s Cendrawasih Bay, whale sharks often congregate around bagan (lift net) fishing platforms for hours where they have learned to “suck” fish out of holes in the net. Despite eating the fishermen’s catch, these sharks are considered to be good luck.

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Image from KAZ2.0 on the flickr Creative Commons

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