Doug Allan: A witness beneath the waves on World Manta Day

Happy World Manta Day! To celebrate the wonders of our ocean’s Flappiest Friends, this special episode explores the experiences and encounters of Manta Trust patron and legendary explorer-cameraman, Doug Allan. Described by Sir David Attenborough as one of the world’s greatest natural history cameramen, Doug Allan’s work speaks for itself. In fact, head to our website now to see some footage of both Doug and Manta Rays in action. In this discussion, David Oakes discovers how, although training to become a marine biologist, Doug truly learned to dive by harvesting fresh-water pearls. Doug has spent roughly a decade living in the Antarctic, readjusting his internal thermostat suitably to openly profess that his “ideal temperature” is a barmy -18℃! As well as Manta Rays, Doug has had close encounters with Polar Bears, Orcas, Narwhals, Emperor Penguins and more (indeed he almost had his brains sucked out by a Walrus), but it was life on Everest that truly struck him to the core. Doug’s lengthy experiences in the most extreme of environments, and at our planet’s poles, make him the perfect witness of Earth’s changing climate. All this and an introduction from Dr Guy Stevens, CEO of the Manta Trust, to tell us how Manta Rays are getting on at the moment.

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