Whale Sharks of Holbox | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD
Whale Sharks of Holbox | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD

Next on Jonathan Bird’s Blue World, Jonathan goes into the ocean with the world’s largest shark! Hi, I’m Jonathan Bird and
welcome to my world! ( ♪ music ) I’ve journeyed to the warm and shallow waters of tiny Holbox Island in the Gulf of Mexico to find and film the world’s largest fish. Holbox is barely more than a
sandy spec on the map of
Northern end of the Yucatan.
It’s not your typical tourist
destination. Until recently,
this sleepy island wasn’t much more than a fishing village. There are no paved roads, and
everyone gets around in golf
carts or other non-conventional transportation. The highway here is a stretch
of beach where you can hit
maybe 20 MPH if you have a fast cart. Downtown, this island has the
charm of a place not yet
discovered by throngs of
tourists. But everywhere there are signs.
Something special has been
discovered here. Offshore in the cool waters of
the Gulf of Mexico, a giant
lurks! I get up early to meet the
boats to take me and the other
intrepid snorkelers on the
adventure of a lifetime. Right! Let’s go find some whale
sharks! Instead of catching fish these
former fishermen are now making
their living taking tourist to swim with the fish. A really
big fish. Using a GPS receiver to help
him navigate, the captain takes
us about an hour offshore. Our guide Andreas watches the
water with a carefully trained
eye on the horizon. Soon, we pass a pod of dolphins. They circle the boat a few
times to check us out, then
vanish. Then we come upon a group of
Eagle Rays frolicking at the
calm surface. I’ve never seen
the rays doing this before. I’m not
even sure what they are up to,
but after a few minutes we have to move on. We put boat back in gear and
keep looking. A ripple up ahead
catches Andreas’s keen eye. As we approach we find a
giant Manta Ray feeding right
at the surface mouth wide open. Manta’s can reach 20 feet
across, but this is just a
small one. Only about size of car Finally, Andres spots what we
are looking for the huge head
of a whale shark sticking up out of water. As we pull the boat up
alongside the shark, I can see
its massive mouth open and
funneling water in, like a gigantic storm
drain. The shark is feeding.
But what could it be eating? It’s more than 30 feet long.
What could feed such an
enormous animal? To find out, I don my snorkel
gear and hop over the side. The whale shark passes right in
front of me. The water is not
very clear, and this is where I get my first clue what is
going on here. The sharks have come to this
section of the ocean because it
is filled with plankton! Whale sharks might be the
biggest fish in the sea, but
they eat only plankton and small fish. The word plankton comes from a
Greek word meaning drifter, so
plankton are drifting organisms. Like these tiny
Copepods The water is filled with
Copepods jellyfish and other
drifting animals. They might be small, but these planktonic
animals are all food for the
mighty whale shark. Early in the morning, when the
water is calm, the plankton
forms a thick layer near the surface. Oooh! He’s just surface
feeding. What the whale sharks
do here is they swim across the surface of the water; with
their mouth open wide; and all
that plankton is sitting right at the surface gets funneled
right into their mouth. The enormous mouth swallows up
huge quantity of water The water comes back out
through the shark’s gills, but
cone like structure in the gills capture the plankton like an
enormous spaghetti strainer. So
the whale shark swimming through the water is like a big pool
skimmer, filtering the plankton
for breakfast. Each shark eats hundreds of pounds of food
every hour! It turns out that
eating plankton is very
efficient for a large animal. Conditions here around Holbox
Island are perfect for plankton
in the summer. The plankton
makes water really murky. But all
that food attracts huge school
of fish. It a bounty that feeds many kinds of animals. Mantas
Rays reed on the plankton, but
the whale shark is by far the most impressive animals
that comes here. Reaching 50 ft
long whale shark grow as large as a school bus, but they
completely harmless all they
are plankton and tiny fish. The fish attract other
predators like dolphins, birds
and bigger fish. That’s why
Holbox has always been a great fishing
area for the locals. That’s incredible. They are so
huge and so much plankton that
in the water we can only see maybe 20 feet under
water. So they are bigger than
the visibility you can’t even see the tail from the head! I can’t believe how many sharks
are feeding around the boat.
There is so much plankton here that it attracts whale
sharks for hundreds of miles
around. Some of the sharks have
escort schools of fish that swarms
around them for protection.
They too eat the plankton
splashing at the surfaces as they feed a
long side the shark. But when I
swim over to investigate they hide under shark as if
where huge swimming reef. Free
diving and keeping up with these sharks is hard work. They don’t
look like they are moving that
fast. I mean their tale just you know gently swishing
back and fourth, but they are
so big the tale so huge that they are actually move faster
than we can keep up with them.
Swim as hard as you can for about 30 seconds then your
pooped and give up. Off they go Later as the sun gets higher in
the sky and the air gets
warmer, the wind picks up and waves start to form. The
plankton layer dissipates, and
the sharks get harder and
harder to find. They are diving deeper out of
site.. Once they dive below we
have no way to find them. So we head back to shore My trip to Holbox has been a
tremendous success and lots of
fun. The economy of this tiny island has been transformed by
this big, harmless, pockadoted
shark. Here in Holbox the people love whale sharks and they are protected
by law. That’s the best part of
this story. ( ♪ music )

100 thoughts on “Whale Sharks of Holbox | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD”

  1. Natalie Apodaca says:

    the melegidon is bigger than a whale shark

  2. Joseline Marin says:

    can other types of sharks eat the whale shark

  3. sherry christ says:

    wow big I want too see that

  4. sherry christ says:

    do blue whale video

  5. Twitch_CizzorJr. 5 says:

    That's cool Jonathan i love to watch your videos and to see what's next!!!

  6. MysticFortrex says:

    Jonathan you are the right marine reptile teacher for my kidsπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ BTW whale sharks are my favorite πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡

  7. Arnab Das says:

    Hi Jonathan…are u a marine biologist? your videos are very much enjoyable and resourseful…Seeing these videos now my intention is to be a marine zoologist…thank u

  8. Harley 0308 says:

    I wan,t to go scooper diving with Jonathan bird?

  9. Kaori Kenmotsu says:

    how do you get the money to do stuff like this?! (not a mean comment)

  10. NR nr says:


  11. Amber Brereton says:


  12. Twisted Troyes evos says:

    Is Whale Shark Dangerous to Human?

  13. Twisted Troyes evos says:

    My Favorite Channel is Jonathan'sBlue World

  14. Redtailcatboi 930 says:

    Thats a fish not a shark whale shark

  15. JJ Ros says:

    He says the manta ray is only the size of a car casually I would leave that would be scary

  16. Michele Gates says:

    Jonathan where are tiger sharks mostly found

  17. Squiddy 700 says:

    the're was a jellyfish at 5:01

  18. Qwerty Qwerty says:

    you should dive in bunaken,indonesia manado

  19. William Cox says:

    Another very enjoyable segment. Thanks, Jonathan and team!

  20. jakedasnake101 says:

    You've inspired me to become a marinebiogist

    lol in not one yet but will be soon… and sorry if i misspelled something .

  21. talia mostafa says:


  22. Jonathan Jones says:


  23. Citric Gaming83 says:

    Whale shark is my favourite shark of all time

  24. Cooper the Maltese/CockerSpaniel Dog breed says:

    Im asking in every video WILL there be a make shark video or a spider crab?!

  25. derek o neill says:

    Wow they are big

  26. Selvi Ashok says:

    super beautiful vidio

  27. Janet Burke says:

    Great video and now he know how important it is for whale sharks to be in the ocean

  28. edith chavarria says:

    I love your videos i am 8 i stared to watched your videos when I was 3 thanks for inspiring me I want to be like you

  29. Abul Khan says:

    The world's largest shark megalodon Easter

  30. Marciano Demidof says:

    Beautiful beautiful video.

  31. taher kharamah says:

    good video fantastick

  32. Waseem Akram says:

    Please Visit Nepal, Dolphin of Koshi River

  33. Ravindar Kumar Sada says:

    Ravindar. kumar

  34. Zoecatrina zac says:

    Do they eat tiny planton like tiny ….fish?

  35. Dilip Bhosale says:

    very good gaies

  36. Maria Dziekanska says:

    I know more sea life than my teacher!! U make great videos πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜Š

  37. Lamar Robinson says:

    Vizio put this on TV bruh

  38. elli zain says:


  39. Christina Lick says:

    I can watch Jonathan for hours and still want more!!!..such an adventure with every video πŸ’“

  40. ĎĚVÏŁ İŚ BΓ„Δ†ΔΆ says:

    Wow Superb ❀

  41. Hoten Hitonokoe says:

    Wow Amazing

  42. Jepetto says:

    What to you do

  43. Rui says:

    My favourite Marine Life Tv Show!
    – Portugal

  44. jurre kooren says:

    How is the sea there so still

  45. Jame Ccc says:

    I love sharks and whale sharks

  46. New dance videos. 2017 says:


  47. iOSGamer635 Tv says:

    Hey Jonathan I’m a biggest fan of you

  48. iOSGamer635 Tv says:

    And I liked and subscribed

  49. SΙ™daqΙ™t NiftΙ™liyeva says:

    After watching this video l decided my third favorite ΠΎcean animal is whale shark .πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  50. Samuel Marcus Gomez says:


  51. Asaad Alsufyani says:

    whale. 🦈 shark is the largest 🦈

  52. Alexandra Indseth says:

    Wow I never realized how big they are


    There's also whale sharks in the Philippines

  54. SIKU Jacob says:

    The sea can never cease to fascinate me.

  55. Ahsan Ansari says:


  56. Karen Kate Villablanca says:

    I wish you can my favorite sea animal: Killer Whale/Orca

  57. Md Ali says:

    in: in

  58. Reegs Zevahc says:

    That place is amazing. I was there for a month.

  59. Rajesh rock says:



  60. lalu lalu says:


  61. TrollMX- YOUTUBE says:

    a manta ray comes…
    Jonathon:THey can reach to 20ft but this is a small one just the size of a car…

  62. Jack Reese says:

    What’s your favorite animal? Mine is a frog fish and I’m 9 and I want to be a marine biologist πŸ™‚

  63. T-BONE says:

    That IS the best part of the story. Very majestic, very beautiful.

  64. Durgesh Kumar says:

    Very nice video

  65. MichaelAaron 421 says:

    I'm glad that the whale shark doesn't eat big things but why does such a big animal eat only small things I know why because the mouth doesn't open that wide so big things won't fit in it

  66. MichaelAaron 421 says:

    The whale shark is one of my favorite animals because people are always calling me big Swoll makes me like big things in the well shark is the biggest fish in the world the blue whale is the biggest animal in the world the orca is the biggest don’t fit in the

  67. RobloRandy - says:


  68. MichaelAaron 421 says:

    Do you think that the eagle rays pattern match the wheel sharks

  69. Endor The Wyvernoraptor/ INDORAPTOR GAMIN says:

    My friend gave me a baby whale shark suviner when they went to a beach

  70. Stephen Locksley Fernandez says:

    Their mouth and fin are seen on surface when eatling plankton!

  71. Prenumerante N says:

    a love holbox

  72. Super Venom says:

    What about MEG

  73. Sarah Marchuk says:

    What an absolutely amazing animal and how smart of them to protect them by law. I wonder how many murals there are in Hobash?

  74. Cathy Cheng says:

    I’ve just come back from Mafia Island another small island attracts Whale Sharks. Swimming with them is such a great experience. Love these giant big head babies!πŸ€—

  75. MichaelAaron 421 says:

    Do you think that the whale shark has ever washed up on shore

  76. yumekai1 says:

    the footage of the animals on the surface was so peaceful and calming, I loved it.

  77. MichaelAaron 421 says:

    If A manta ray turned into a shark do you think you’ll be a whale shark

  78. the animator says:

    This show fascinates me!! I love it!! 😊

  79. Khalid Bin Walid says:

    I love that you think the best part of this amazing story is that the sharks are protected by law. Totally agree.

  80. A180CombatBowser Game pro says:

    even tho plankton are so small u can't even see them honestly I think whales mostly whale sharks will survive the longest because the problem with extinction is that they run out of food but in the ocean scientist say that there is as many plankton as there is stars in the universe but I don't believe that one maybe the galaxy tho that one is still kinda hard to believe but I guess so and theres billions no trillions of stars in one galaxy and theres trillions of galaxys in a universe

  81. MichaelAaron 421 says:

    How old is the whale shark I learn about it when I was 9

  82. Sejal Ramnani says:

    Wow your shark videos are just sooooooo awesome!!

  83. busybillyb33 says:

    This is a giant of a fish, yet a harmless filter feeder. Now imagine a Great White Shark that is the size of a Whale Shark – that would be the Megalodon. Scary!

  84. ST Abhi says:

    Your videos are amazing

  85. QF MR says:

    Now this shark can eat my extra large
    Fried chicken

  86. mandavi tiwari says:

    I love sharks and especially whale sharks as they do not harm us …
    But can I ask a question…
    Means everyone has a picture in minds that sharks kills ..But the face u are showing of them is totally different…So is that true that they are dangerous ..I mean i have this doubt that u swim along with them..It's just magical.or just amazing.. I also wanna do research on them or their behavior

  87. Elaine B says:

    There's a meme going about wi either one of these or a basker going "RAWR!!! JK I only eat plankton!!!" Anyway, gorgeous mals & so good to see them getting loved here…

  88. Ronnie Nagy says:

    I Do Love Whale Sharks ❀, There are Endangered Species so When I Grow Up, I Will Keep The Ocean Nice and Clean, No Garbage all Over The Ocean That The Whale Sharks or Other Marine Creatures That Will Might Eat It

  89. Emma Goodyear says:

    I'm off to Mexico in a few months and plan to do this, holbox looks incredible

  90. Aritra Mondal says:

    If I will join this journey!!….wow world is Assam…

  91. MichaelAaron 421 says:

    Sense sharks have special skeletons do you think that their bone turn in?

  92. Jordan Ezell says:

    Mr. Bird, you have opened up my eyes to a whole new world. God bless you.

  93. yoan sanjaya says:

    Car? Ok

  94. John Dingal says:

    Wow amazing watching from Philippines.

  95. Gen says:

    I like the background music

  96. Camo ll says:

    I found a whale shark when I went snorkeling.. they also don’t harm you

  97. Camo ll says:

    I really want to go scuba diving with you..good luck diving

  98. Nensi Jasharaj says:

    so the body guard fish will hide from the threat instead of protecting it?

  99. Camelia Zara says:

    Just found your chanel today, really love it.. sorry my english not good.. love from malaysia..

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