Wobbegong or bearded carpet shark. (Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia, March 2012)
Wobbegong or bearded carpet shark. (Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia, March 2012)

The wobbegong... is that a shark?

  Indonesia: Raja Ampat + Bali - March 2012

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 


I'm not finished with Raja Ampat! Let me introduce you to a strange monster, very common in these waters: the bearded carpet shark or "wobbegong".

Wow... another monster!

There are really funny things under the water ... Nature seems to be able to invent forms of life to infinity, especially under the sea. The more I dive, the more it amazes me.

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My collection of underwater monsters - remember the abominable little creatures of Lembeh - gets rich. Here is the bearded carpet shark, which anglophones call wobbegong.

Wobbegong or bearded carpet shark. (Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia, March 2012)

Wobbegong or bearded carpet shark. (Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia, March 2012)

It's a pretty rare beast. I had never met her before diving before this stay of March 2012 in Raja Ampat, in Indonesian Papua.

Almost invisible on the bottom

It's a shark, then. It's not obvious at first glance. First, because most of the time, you do not even notice it. Her brown-gray spotted dress is a great camouflage on the bottom.

Then because it remains wallowed in the coral debris, huddled on the sand, or hidden in the shadows, without moving too much, like a carpet... (Hence the name!).

Wobbegong or bearded carpet shark. Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia. March 2012.

Wobbegong or bearded carpet shark. Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia. March 2012.

In addition, he has a beard, this shark. Finally, some kinds of growths around the mouth, a bit like scorpion fish. Their shape is reminiscent of coral tips. He ends up getting confused in his environment. Every time we met one, during these dives at Raja Ampat, I did not see anything. Without the trained eye of my guides under the water, I would have missed it.

It seems he has teeth anyway

This is the kind of shark that can easily be approached by diving. He's not moving. Or very little. One can come close, stick him flash and dome of the camera in front of the muzzle, he does not flinch. I give you below a short video of a minute where we see some of the wobbegongs I met in Raja Ampat.

Blunder even if you do not come too close. He can play the rugs, with his rounded mouth that seems harmless, it seems he has small teeth, this shark. It's best not to scare or disturb him. We never know…

→ To see all the articles about my dives at Raja Ampat : one click here !

  Indonesia: Raja Ampat + Bali - March 2012

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