Stingray migration
Sandra Critelli/Barcroft Media

It was the end of this June when amateur photographer Sandra Critelli, who was looking for whale sharks, found herself in the right place at the right time to experienced nature at its best. Her boat was surrounded by thousands of rays swimming together like autumn leaves floating in a sunlit pond... gently moved by the wind. The images speak for themselves.
The spectacular scene was captured as the magnificent creatures made one of their biannual mass migrations to more agreeable waters as they follow the clockwise current from Mexico's Yucatan peninsula to western Florida in schools of as many as 10,000. These particular kind of rays are known as Cow-nose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus) due to their distinctive, highdomed heads, giving them a curiously bovine appearance. They measure up to 7ft (2.1 metres) from wing-tip to wing-tip and have a long poisonous sting on their tail capable of killing a human even though they are pretty shy and rarely become dangerous.

Stingray migration
Sandra Critelli/Barcroft Media
Stingray migration
Sandra Critelli/Barcroft Media
Stingray migration
Sandra Critelli/Barcroft Media


55 Response to 'When thousands of rays are flying under your boat'

  1. Anonymous'> March 7, 2009 at 11:41 PM

    When Nature performs like this it is always in the realm of miraculous. My compliments to Sandra Critelli for such marvelous pictures.


  2. Rodrigo'> April 20, 2009 at 1:40 AM

    Wonderful pictures


  3. .robert'> April 24, 2009 at 3:17 PM

    I was in a canoe once and had that happen, but only a hundred or so rays.


  4. Anonymous'> April 24, 2009 at 4:17 PM

    "nature at HIS best"..??
    Its MOTHER nature to you, sir.
    (Or Madam)


  5. Anonymous'> April 24, 2009 at 4:18 PM

    "I was in a canoe once and had that happen, but only a hundred or so rays."

    My sister was bitten by a moose once.....


  6. Harold Fowler'> April 24, 2009 at 5:07 PM

    Wow,that is truly amazing!



  7. Unknown'> April 24, 2009 at 5:15 PM

    They are probably heading out to eat up all the oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

    Hog-nosed rays are out of control. We need to find a market for them so the oysters can recover...


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    This so reminds me of an Escher drawing...beautiful, thank you!


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