Hundreds of Mobula rays swim together near La Paz in the Sea of Cortez. They were filmed by the Behind the Mask team, who went freediving with them after spotting a few breaching the sea surface. Watch Mobula Mania.
Mobulas are also called flying rays because of these fantastical leaps. More about these rays with National Geographic Kids:
Mobula rays live in warm oceans throughout the world. These fish have a pair of winglike fins that can extend up to 17 feet. The fins help the rays rocket from the sea when they leap. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why all nine species of mobula rays do these jumps. But they think it may be to show off for a potential mate, get rid of parasites, or communicate.
Mobula rays are as good at swimming as they are at jumping. As they travel, they move their fins up and down to steer through the water. Even baby mobula rays, born at 25 pounds with their fins curled, are gifted gliders. The babies, called pups, immediately unfold their fins and swim off.
Watch these related ray videos next:
• Swim With Manta Rays, the Ocean’s Peaceful Giants
• The largest school of rays ever caught on film
• Cownose rays, a brief but beautiful gathering
• California Devil Rays Leap from the Pacific