A well-known, approximately 30-year-old massive Manta Ray in Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef known as Freckles surprised divers when she approached them and paused, appearing to ask for help.
Divers Jake Wilton and Monty Halls noticed that the ray had fishhooks embedded under one of its eyes. The patient ray seemed to understand that the divers could help remove them. After several tries, they did.
Said Wilton to BBC News: “I went down for a dive [to check up on her] and she stopped and hung around for about 30 seconds above me – it was pretty wild. They have self-awareness and can recognize individual manta rays, so she could have recognized me.”