Photographed by Kristian Laine this pink manta ray is the only one known to the world. Spanning 11 feet, nicknamed Inspector Clouseau (The Pink Panther), she’s a gorgeous creature, located near Lady Elliot Island, a part of the Great Barrier Reef. “I had no idea there were pink mantas in the world, so I was confused and thought my strobes were broken or doing something weird,” photographer Laine said in an interview for National Geographic. The secret was revealed by Project Manta after conducting a skin biopsy. Since Manta rays are black and white this unusual pink hue was explained as a genetic mutation – erythrism – that changed the melanin expression.
>A must-read origin story of a brilliant Kristian Laine, a photographer born in Finland, now living in Australia can be found on Laine’s official website. What happened in between is a beautiful gradation of a young man in search of a satisfying life. “I was only 9 months old when I discovered the beauty of water when my mum was bathing me and all of a sudden I just started diving like a fish and never stopped.” We’ll go fast forward with this amazing story (still we encourage you to read it in full). Laine moved to Australia, falling in love with the Gold Coast. Obsessed with the nature in Queensland with a cheap camera in his hands it all finally started becoming a glimpse of what it is today. A start of an epic ongoing photographing career. From his first little turtle photograph to becoming a National Geographic published underwater photographer! “My deepest wish is that nature would have the same rights as people and animals’ lives would be protected just like human rights are protected so that generations to come could see what I see and enjoy our beautiful planet and nature that it holds.” A great man!
“Worlds only pink manta called Inspector Clouseau (The Pink Panther). What an amazing and absolutely unforgettable encounter that was.”