Photographer Captures Stunning Photos of the World’s Only Pink Manta Off of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

While diving in the waters off Lady Elliot Island at the tip of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, underwater photographer Kristian Laine captured absolutely stunning stills of a rose-colored manta ray swimming by.

Laine told Fstoppers that he thought there was a problem with his lens at first.

I was looking through the viewfinder and locked eyes with it. Only when I fired my strobes to take a photo, I noticed its pink color. I had no idea there were any pink mantas in the world, so I was confused and thought my strobes were broken or doing something weird.

As it turned out, the manta’s color is due to a genetic mutation. The manta, who’s been given the name “Inspector Closeau” (from The Pink Panther), is the only known pink version in the world and is rarely seen. Laine counted himself as lucky to have spotted this gentle rosy giant.

Worlds only pink manta called Inspector Clouseau. What an amazing and absolutely unforgettable encounter that was. …The only pink manta in the whole world can be found cruising the shallow waters around lady elliot from time to time, around 8 times in 8 years i think is more like the odds ;)

via Fstoppers