The biggest fish in the sea is as long as a school bus, weighs as much as 50,000 pounds, and has a mouth that looks, head-on, wide enough to suck down a small car.The largest photographed Whaleshark is beleived to be 18 meter from nose to tail as photographed here, and the smallest was just 30 cm caught in a fishing net in the Philipines.
Despite this distinctive profile, scientists know very little about the whale shark. They breathe through gills, like fish. They are cold-blooded, like fish. The "whale" part of the name refers to size and how the animals eat. They are one of only three known shark species that filter feed, as baleen whales do, swimming slowly through plankton-rich water, maws agape. Water goes in carrying edibles of all sizes, and water sans food flows out.
The giant fish is hard to study in part because it is hard to find and track. By tagging individual specimens, scientists have learned that whale sharks can log thousands of miles in years-long trips. But they sometimes disappear for weeks, diving more than a mile down and resting in the chilly deep for a spell. No one has ever found mating whalesharks but there have been a few infant whalesharks found in the Philipines which males us beleive this area is a likely contender for their birthing grounds. Its been rumoured that whalesharks are solitary creatures but encounters with mass groups of Whalesharks in Mexico and the Philipines prove otherwise.
Plus there are many witness accounts from Koh Tao fishermen of old that Koh Tao itself would often be host to more than 20-50 whalesharks at a time back before the islands here were inhabited. Whalesharks are still a frequent visitor to Koh Tao and if you want to know more about them then keep an eye on our Facebook page which will update you every time there is a Whaleshark on Koh Tao.