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Planning a Beach Trip? Here Are Top Places To Swim with Jellyfish, Whale Sharks and Pigs

Apr 11, 2016 04:30 AM EDT
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Beach trips are the top vacation choice of many. With the fast-phased life today, it is but fitting to indulge in luxurious swim trips every now and then.

But for those getting tired of the usual scenario, there's a new way of enjoying the waters--swimming with animals. You can choose among jellyfishes, whale sharks and even pigs.

Here's a list of places to go if you want to swim with animals for a not-so-typical beach experience:

1. Jellyfish Lake in Palau

(Photo : Clark Anderson/Aquaimages/Wikimedia Commons)

The famous jellyfish lake is situated on an uninhabited island in Koror, Palau. There's a body of water filled with millions of jellyfish and you can actually swim in it. The Coral Reef Foundation said there are about 13 million jellyfish in that lake.

During a marine conservation assignment, New York Times was able to visit the Jellyfish Lake. Writer Ian Urbina said the experience is nothing short of surreal.

"I was quickly engulfed by an overwhelming number of ominous pulsating orange blobs, which ranged in size from bowling balls to Ping-Pong balls," he said. He described his experience as somewhat similar to the cartoon show "SpongeBob SquarePants."

The abundance of jellyfish can be overwhelming and may sometimes cause panic in some cases, but experts assure tourists that the jellyfish found in Palau are safe to swim with.

Although everyone is welcome to swim in the lake, authorities advise tourists to wear fins for better movement control. They also prohibit the wearing of sunscreen because it might affect the quality of algae which the jellyfish eat.

2. Swimming with Pigs in The Bahamas

(Photo : Trent from Nina Lu/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons)

A recent article by Conde Nast Traveler said if you want to swim with pigs, you should head to Exuma inThe Bahamas.

Big Major Cay is creating a stir in social media because tourists started sharing their photos swimming at the beach with pigs.

It has become extremely popular that travel agencies use "swimming with pigs" to entice tourist to visit their beaches.

"They live freely on the sandy beaches, and after basking in the sun for hours, they swim in the surf," they said.

One interesting fact, though, is that the island is also uninhabited so where the pigs came from is still a mystery to the locals. Folklore suggests that the pigs were dropped there by sailors or they might have gotten there due to a shipwreck.

Even the government recognizes the contribution of pigs in the tourism industry in Bahamas. "As a destination that is world-renowned for welcoming visitors and providing them with the most beautiful beaches, lavish hotels and resorts, and fine dining, and for being a dream destination, the Islands of The Bahamas are very proud to be the Official Home of the Swimming Pigs," said Joy Jibrilu, director general of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

3. Whale Sharks in... well, a lot of different places

(Photo : Feefiona123/Wikimedia Commons)

Whale sharks are gentle giants known to be very careful with fellow swimmers, including humans.Research says that whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea, measuring up to 40 feet and could weigh as much as 20.6 tons.

Over time, more areas are discovered where whale sharks feed. Some local authorities developed these sites so it would be conducive for tourists to swim in. No matter where you are in the world, there's always a place where you can swim with whale sharks. Here is a list you can explore:

a. Isla Holbox, Mexico

b. Utila, Honduras

c. Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

d. Gladden Spit, Belize

e. South Ari Atoll, Maldives

f. Sorsogon, Philippines

Although it is safe to swim with whale sharks, conservationists suggest that you choose a site where they naturally feed. You should also check the migration pattern of the animals before your trip so you'll be sure to catch the gentle giants in action.

So the next time you plan your trip, remember there are other places where you can relax and swim with these amazing creatures which are not just friendly, but Instagram-worthy, too.

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