St. Helena is one of the most remote inhabited islands on the planet. It’s 2,500 miles east of Rio de Janeiro and just over 1,200 miles west of Angola.
Despite its lack of human activity and small size, there is one species that scientists of the Georgia Aquarium believe mate specifically in the waters of St. Helene.
This marine animal is the whale shark.
Whale sharks are the biggest fish known to man. They can measure nearly 40 feet long and weigh up to 47,000 pounds.
“The whale sharks of St. Helena are an even split of adult males and females, which is different from the other places where whale sharks gather in numbers, where juvenile males dominate,” wrote National Georgraphic.
It continued, “Our main goal of the 2015-2016 expedition was to characterize these gentle giants in St. Helena, how they use the island habitats, and where they go when they leave, and of course to stay ever vigilant for signs of mating behavior.”
Using a variety of techniques including laser calipers to measure the size of the whale shark, computer-aided photographic identification and various ways to track tags helped these scientists discover more about these large, mysterious fish.
During the trip, the crew found over 30 whale sharks and photographed dozens more. In the process, they also created a Twitter page titled “Where’s Domino?” introducing the world to the whale sharks of St. Helena.