Twice a year, a species of golden stingray, called the cownose ray, migrates to warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico. The beautiful golden creatures travel in schools of up to 10,000 rays, their yellow skin glistening in the water along the way. A few lucky photographers have had the opportunity to witness the mass migrations, which can look like thousands of massive autumn leaves floating in the water:
Golden cownose rays are also found in the Atlantic Ocean, again migrating twice a year—north in the spring and south in the fall. With thousands of them all at once, the scene may be a little scary, as they’re equipped with poisonous barbs, but the truth is, the golden rays are the kittens of the stingrays. They are typically shy and harmless as they only attack when they are threatened. That’s why this seemingly brave—or reckless—diver felt at ease swimming with them.
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