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This 5,000 Pound Manta-Ray Was Caught in New Jersey in 1933

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In 1933 an enormous Manta-Ray was caught just off the coast of New Jersey. It is not only its size that’s impressive, but so is also the story of how it was caught.

manta ray caught in new jersey
©Gotweird (Instagram)

Manta rays are already known for their impressive size. But, the specimen caught off the coast of New Jersey in 1933 was particularly gigantic. To this date, it remains one of the largest Manta-Rays ever recorded by man.

In this article, we will delve into the captivating story of how this immense creature was captured. To begin with, the fisherman in question was not actively hunting for Manta Rays. One might even say that his boat was attacked by a Manta Ray, that he then ended up catching.

Join us as we get to the bottom of this! Then we’ll go on to learn more about the majestic and magnificent creature that is the Manta Ray.

Key Points

  • In 1933, Captain Al Kahn caught one of the largest Manta-Rays ever seen off the coast of New Jersey.
  • The massive Manta-Ray became hooked onto the anchor of their cabin cruiser, leading to a three-hour struggle.
  • A coast guard cutter arrived and fired twenty bullets into the creature, ending the intense battle.
  • The captured Manta-Ray attracted a crowd, and Kahn charged 10 cents per person to view it.
  • Manta rays are generally harmless, characterized by their gentle nature, and do not pose a danger to humans.

The Story of How It Was Caught

manta ray caught in New Jersey
©Gotweird (Instagram)

In the year of 1933, Captain Al Kahn caught one of the largest Manta-Rays ever seen by human eyes just off the coast of New Jersey.

While out and about on their cabin cruiser, they encountered a truly massive fish. For those of you not familiar with boats and all things naval, a cabin cruiser is a type of recreational boat. It has an enclosed cabin that offers basic amenities for leisure cruising. In other words, extremely ill-suited for extreme fishing expeditions.

Whether you’re familiar with fishing or not, you know that fish are typically caught with a hook. In this case, though, this giant Manta-Ray became hooked onto the actual anchor of the boat! What followed was a grueling three-hour struggle between the fishing party and the colossal creature of the deep.

Just as the fishermen began asking themselves if they were catching the fish or vice versa, a coast guard cutter arrived to assist the distressed fishermen. With twenty bullets fired into the enormous creature, the dramatic and hair-raising adventure finally came to an end.

Ultimately, the monstrous fish was brought ashore, revealing its astounding size—an incredible weight of 5,000 – 6,000 pounds and a width of 25 feet and five inches.

In the same area but almost a century later: 5 Shark Attacks in 5 Days on Long Island.

From Deep-Sea Resident To Tourist Attraction

Naturally, this insane incident of a 5,000-pound Manta-Ray being caught just outside New Jersey made headlines. Word spread rapidly about Kahn’s remarkable catch. Soon a throng of people gathered, eagerly anticipating a glimpse of the colossal creature.

Capitalizing on the interest, Kahn decided to charge a modest fee of 10 cents per person for the opportunity to view the massive manta ray. Within just a few days, the huge amount of visitors generated a substantial amount of money. These funds were enough to purchase a brand-new fire truck worth $3,000 for the local fire department – a truly generous gesture.

Once the public viewing period concluded, the devil fish was carefully transported to a taxidermist. The aim was to preserve its impressive form, ensuring that it could be showcased at various events in the future.

This decision allowed the extraordinary specimen to continue captivating audiences long after its initial capture, reminding us of this species’ extraordinary size and magnificence.

A Quick Overview of the Manta Ray

manta ray swimming seen from underneath
WeightUp to 5,300 pounds
LengthUp to 23 feet
DietPlankton, small fish, and squid
Feeding BehaviorFilter feeder, sieving food through gill plates
Social BehaviorSolitary, occasionally forming aggregations
HabitatTropical and subtropical oceans, coral reefs
LifespanUp to 50 years
Conservation StatusVulnerable (according to IUCN Red List)

Are Manta Rays Dangerous?

manta ray

Generally, Manta Rays have a bad reputation, and many think that they are a dangerous species. This common disbelief is most probably due to confusion with their venomous cousins: Stingrays.

Manta rays are harmless and pose little danger to humans. Few people know it, but these majestic creatures have a very gentle and docile nature. Unlike their stingray relatives, manta rays do not have barb-tipped tails or venomous spines, making them non-threatening. Instead, the Manta Ray uses its long tail for propulsion and is harmless to humans.

Manta rays are peaceful filter feeders, mainly consuming plankton by filtering it from the water with their large mouths. They have no interest in preying on humans and are more likely to swim away when approached. Their intelligence and curiosity often lead them to interact with divers and snorkelers, but they do so in a non-aggressive manner.

On the other end of the spectrum: Meet the Smallest Jellyfish Species Revealed.

Manta Rays In New Jersey: A Rare Sight

up close of manta ray

Manta rays are not a common sight along New Jersey’s coast. The waters of New Jersey are not a regular habitat or migration route for manta rays, and these creatures more commonly inhabit tropical and subtropical regions.

While manta rays may occasionally venture into different regions, including unexpected locations, the Manta Ray that was caught along New Jersey’s coast was an extremely unique case. It is more common to encounter other marine species native to the region, such as dolphins, seals, and various fish species.

High concentrations of manta rays in the world is present in various locations, but the most famous one is the Maldives. This archipelago in the Indian Ocean is renowned for its rich marine biodiversity, including a significant population of manta rays. The Maldives provides an ideal environment for manta rays, with its warm waters and extensive coral reefs that support the food chain necessary for their survival.

FAQs About Manta Rays

manta ray swimming
Can a Manta Ray sting?

No, Manta Rays cannot sting. Unlike stingrays, they lack venomous spines or barbs on their tails, making them harmless and safe to interact with.

Why is the Manta Ray also called the devil fish?

The Manta Ray is sometimes referred to as the devil fish due to its imposing size, dark coloration, and horn-like cephalic fins that resemble devilish horns, giving it a striking appearance.

What is the difference between sting rays and manta rays?

The main difference between stingrays and manta rays lies in their size and behavior. Manta rays are significantly larger, have triangular pectoral fins, and are filter feeders, while stingrays are smaller, have diamond-shaped pectoral fins, and are typically bottom-dwellers that use their venomous spines for defense.

Manta Ray Caught In New Jersey: Wrapping Up

YouTube video

The manta ray caught off the coast of New Jersey remains one of the absolute largest specimens to date, providing the fisherman involved with a tale to tell for the rest of his life. The sheer size and power of this magnificent creature made the battle an intense one. Only through the timely intervention of the coast guards did they conquer the 5,000-pound Manta Ray.

What makes this story even more extraordinary is the fact that Manta Rays are rarely ever seen in the waters of New Jersey. These graceful creatures typically call the tropical and subtropical waters of the Maldives their home.

It is important to emphasize that despite their impressive appearance, manta rays are not dangerous to humans. Contrary to common misconceptions, these gentle giants pose little threat. Lacking venomous stingers or aggressive tendencies, they are peaceful filter feeders.

Thank you for reading this article about the huge Manta Ray that was caught in New Jersey! Keep exploring the insane and record-breaking creatures of the animal kingdom:

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