Common Underwater Sightings in Pattaya
Pattaya is well known as being one of the best dive sites in Thailand, but what sets it apart is its diverse reef ecosystem. With over 18 coral islands and an extensive shallow reef system, Pattaya is host to a wide array of marine species sure to delight snorkelers, beginner and skilled divers alike.
Diving in Pattaya
Diving in Pattaya is sure to lead to various encounters with fish and other undersea life. Some species can be found in nearby waters all year round, while some migratory creatures are only sighted at certain months of the year. Of all the undersea attractions one can see, the most common underwater sightings in Pattaya include angelfish, moray eels, pufferfish, rays, turtles, and sharks.
There are at least four types of angelfish known to reside near Pattaya’s waters, with each one exhibiting vivid colours and patterns. Some species are also known to emit a knocking sound if disturbed. These fish tend to be found feeding off parasites from larger fish near reef caves, lagoons, and reef flats.
Reaching up to three meters in length, moray eels spend most of their day hiding in crevices of lagoons and protected reefs. They only come out at night to hunt fish and crustaceans, often alongside coral groupers. Certain species, such as the giant moray, have also been known to attack divers. Take considerable care and keep your distance from these creatures.
Various species of pufferfish inhabit the clear lagoons and tidal pools around Pattaya, feeding on algae, coral, and shellfish. They are best known for inflating their bodies when provoked. Several species are also highly poisonous, so physical contact is highly discouraged.
Most commonly seen stationary on the sand, sting rays are a gentle and timid creature despite their barbed tail. They have no bones, with their skeleton made of flexible cartilage, similar to sharks which they are closely related to.
The largest fish on the planet, whale sharks can grow up to 12 meters long. Despite their size, though, they are harmless. Whale shakes are filter feeders with plankton as their primary food source. These gentle giants typically congregate in open water to feed, but they are also known to enter lagoons and coral atolls.
Green and hawksbill turtles are another popular underwater sighting in Pattaya. These slow-moving reptiles spend most of their life at sea, only coming to the surface to breathe and lay their eggs. They are also key members of the reef ecosystem, feeding on jellyfish, corals, crustaceans, and a variety of other organisms.
While these are the most common underwater sightings in Pattaya, there’s plenty more to see. Make your next adventure under the sea in Thailand today.