World’s ‘smallest’ whale shark discovered in the Philippines


A 15-inch-long “butanding” was rescued over the weekend in the Philippines. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) called it “arguably the smallest living whale shark in recorded history.”

It was found in shallow water off Donsol, Sorsogon— which hosts the largest known annual congregation of whale sharks in the world.

By the end of the day, after photos and measurements had been taken, the young whale shark was free again, released into deeper waters.

Whale sharks, which can grow to be as big as a bus, feed mainly on plankton. The gentle creatures make regular stops along the Philippines’ eastern shores from December to May, attracting thousands of tourists.

[Image via National Geographic]