Bénitier géant. Mioskon. Raja Ampat, Papouasie, Indonésie. Juillet 2012.

The biggest shellfish in the world

#RajaAmpat # Indonesia

  Indonesia: Alor + Raja Ampat - July 2012

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:

This shell is a monster. It is not for nothing that it is called "giant holy water font". I have never seen one as big as Raja Ampat.

The giant clams of Mioskon

Ah, Indonesia ... I can not stop raving about the surprises that each new trip there is for me.

In July 2012, back in the archipelago of Raja Ampat, everything continues to amaze me. This is my second time here (see the first: in March 2012), but impossible to be jaded.

Bénitier géant. Mioskon. Raja Ampat, Papouasie, Indonésie. Juillet 2012.The small island of Mioskon, with its unusual cloud of bats above her cute white sand beach, conquered me. Underwater, another curiosity awaits me: the largest shellfish in the world.

My friends Jimmy and Julia, from Sorido Bay Resort, who accompany me for this new dive, warned me: "Prepare your camera", they tell me in the Anglo-Saxon way (the term "camera" means everything that captures the image, camera as camera). "There are beautiful holy water! "

The giant clam, also called giant tridacne, is a huge shell, which can measure up to 1.50 meters long and exceed 200 kilos. It is the largest bivalve mollusc.

Yes, it is eaten - the flesh of the shell is edible - but it is forbidden. The species, threatened, is protected. It is often seen in the warm seas of the Indo-Pacific zone.

Before this trip, it's probably at Pulau Weh, at the other end of Indonesia, and also in Bali on the side ofAmed, that I had to see the biggest ones. But the. Frankly. It is enooorme!

Bénitier géant. Mioskon. Raja Ampat, Papouasie, Indonésie. Juillet 2012.

As always, in Raja Ampat, the "usual" tropical fauna is one step above anything else in Indonesia.

On the site of Mioskon, there is a very big font, really bigger than the others. Its yellow-brown flesh palpitates, overflowing into large, fleshy, purplish lips over the shell. All in the middle of the coral teeming with life, as always.

Bénitier géant. Mioskon. Raja Ampat, Papouasie, Indonésie. Juillet 2012.

Update of July 2016: I returned to Raja Ampat several years after this trip in July 2012. I went back to Mioskon, in particular in January 2015then in november 2015impatient, every time, to find the big holy water! Unfortunately, in July 2016, during a new trip to Raja Ampat, I discovered, stupefied, that this magnificent and spectacular shell was dead. Missing, the purple flesh throbbing purple ... Underwater, there remains today Mioskon's holy water stoup that a huge shell gray and empty. Nobody could tell me what could have happened to him (illness, fishing). It made me a little sad, the disappearance of this giant seashell ... I consoled myself with other holy clams, on other sites, including that of Chicken Reef. I will show you the pictures in a future article.


In Mioskon, when one is tired of contemplating the holy water font, one has good chances to surprise wobbegongs, these funny bearded and rugged sharks that do not look like the stuff you see in movies.

This one "took off" from the reef without warning. I did not see him. I scared him and he ran away. But it went straight to me and I just had time to trigger my "camera", quickly.

Requin-tapis barbu, ou wobbegong. Mioskon. Raja Ampat, Papouasie, Indonésie. Juillet 2012.

Fortunately, I also have with me some cooperative human models, who deign to stop for a moment above the schools of fish ...

Plongée à Mioskon. Raja Ampat, Papouasie, Indonésie. Juillet 2012.

In short, there is something to do, with all the pigeon that drips from everywhere.

Plongée à Mioskon. Raja Ampat, Papouasie, Indonésie. Juillet 2012.Profusion. It's always the word that comes to me to talk about Raja Ampat.

Even the most "mundane" site here is extraordinary because of the abundance and variety of wildlife it encounters, by the colors and density of the coral.

No, really, nowhere else in Indonesia - except maybe some sites in Komodo - neither in Malaysia nor in Thailand, I had this sensation of incredible profusion under water.

"Raja Ampat, where all the fishes live", like to say Max Ammer, pioneer of diving in the archipelago. He's not wrong. All fish live here!

At the end of the dive, at a shallow depth, I stabilize myself in front of an imposing pink anemone, which houses the "usual" clownfish. I watch their ride for a moment. There is a small family, frightened by my arrival, huddling under the protective tentacles of his "house". It's been a long time that I have not photographed "nemos" ... I tend to disdain them, I have stored too much in my hard drives.

But this time, the beautiful velvety purple of the anemone tempts me. Come on, a little last for the road.

Poissons-clowns. Mioskon. Raja Ampat, Papouasie, Indonésie. Juillet 2012.

→ To see all the articles on my dives in Raja Ampat: click here!

  Indonesia: Alor + Raja Ampat - July 2012

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  1. Echoing "your" giant holy water font, comes to mind "The sunken cathedral" of Debussy; I have listened to this prelude while reading the article, and there is a good correlation between them; we could also call painters, so the colors are beautiful! Thank you 😉

  2. I'm just starting scuba diving this year and will soon be level 1. I discovered your blog a few months ago, and your photos make me dream while waiting for the real dives at sea 🙂 Wow, these clams are gigantic! The only ones I could observe were within snorkelling range in the Mozambique Channel ... they had piqued my curiosity despite their modest dimensions, but the ones you make us discover are spectacular! Out of curiosity, how deep were they? Thank you !

    1. @Tonton photo: Welcome under the surface and happy to give you to dream, already, with my photos !!! 🙂
      I do not remember the exact depth, but this dive at Mioskon was within the "normal" limits of recreational diving, with no particular difficulty as far as I can remember. I think the clams should not be very deep, probably around 20 meters, maybe less.

      Congratulations for the preparation of level 1 and good bubbles!

  3. Hello and happy new year to all of you,
    My guide has more or less measured a Benitier R4, I do not know which site. the beast was between 1.40 and 1.50 m.
    I had decided not to return after 2 cruises, the R4 is too far away, requires too much time and ... under. But here is the envy that takes me again and this blog only reinforces this desire.

    1. @ Gerard: Yes, I think the clams I saw measured well 1.50 m ... Really impressive!

      As for Raja Ampat, I either will not go back immediately, after two trips there, because it is indeed very very expensive. But I do not regret it. It's really worth the piggy bank breakup ...

      Anyway, I'm glad to see that my little items make you want to leave. This is the only goal of this blog ... Give travel desires !!!!


    1. @Curious Traveler: But of course !!! Like mussels or oysters & #8230; 🙄

      It is also very impressive under water. As I wrote a little earlier in the article, we see their flesh throbbing inside the shell. It's really weird like trick.

      They also see the water through a circular hole that looks like a tube and, if we approach a little too close, the holy water "feels" the threat and like closing its shell ... Better d ' elsewhere do not risk getting your hands in it, at the risk of being crushed.

  4. Flipping through the info on Koh Lipe ............... ..I've landed on the article of the giant clam !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ten years ago I had seen big ones on the site of Michaelmas near Cairns, but this one really impressive.

    1. @Bertrand: we definitely find everything on these little bubbles elsewhere ... 😉
      Yes, I think Mioskon's giant clams are the biggest I've ever seen. I remember admiring some pretty big ones in Bali too.

  5. Hello Corinne!

    Do you have any information about prices for hotels, resorts or homestay in Raja Ampat? I have just returned from Bali and Lombok and the Gili Islands .... a little disappointed by the coral slaughtered with dynamite, I really want to go to Raja Ampat but I read in a post above that it is very expensive ...?

    Are there plans to pay less? Homestay for example ...? thank you for your help 🙄

  6. Hell'eau!
    Those Perhentians are already huge, I think more than a meter for some, but then there! I hope you had fun putting your hand over it? 😉 It emits a jet of water of unheard-of power ... Superb your photos anyway!

    1. Anthony: Alleau !!! 😆 Yes, this is not the first time I see giant clams giant clams, I have also recently reviewed Sipadan, but those of Raja Ampat were particularly spectacular & #8230;