Manta Ray Mugs Cameraman and Steals Canon 5D Mark II

Remember back in April when we shared a story in which an Octopus stole a point-and-shoot camera and led the owner in a 5 minute chase? Well now there’s a story that’s crazier and bigger in almost every aspect.

Travis Matteson was recording underwater footage of manta rays during an underwater night dive off Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, when a gigantic manta ray suddenly approached and stole his Canon 5D Mark II underwater rig worth about $10,000. Luckily, another cameraman was nearby to capture the whole incident on film.

With the camera still running, the manta ray made a 8 minute run, and finally dropped the gear off completely undamaged just yards from the dive boat. Apparently the manta ray just wanted to contribute some footage of its own.

  • Anonymous

    “$5,000 rig ” (in the video)…”underwater rig worth about $10,000″ (in the text) …whatever it takes (for story emphasis).

    great story though. how wonderful that the manta decided to return it.

  • Michael Zhang

    Hmmm… interesting. The $10,000 number is from their YouTube video description: “Suddenly, one of the manta’s giant wings hooked his light system, and darted off with the nearly $10,000 worth of photo gear.”

  • GlossGreen

    That is a pretty good video (price of the rig notwithstanding). Funniest thing I’ve seen all day. Then again, it is only 9 AM.

  • kruemi

    This is a quite incredible story! Really seems as if the manta just wanted to play and even gave back the toy afterwards!

    But how is it with that much light under water in the night. Doesn’t that disturb the animals?

  • Nils

    I’m guessing that it was the manta’s way of saying “Turn off the damn lights!”.

  • ThatGuy

    So the Manta ray decided to drop it after it realized the camera was a Canon :). Damn Manta Ray!

  • ThatGuy

    So the Manta ray decided to drop it after it realized the camera was a Canon :). Damn Manta Ray!

  • Justin Javellana

    i know it’s mean but i laughed at 29 seconds into the video. *doublefacepalm

  • Railnoise

    Yeah I was adding that up..2500 for the housing, 2500 for the camera, looks like a nice wide angle from the other video with Travis say 1500.00 then there are those Sunray 2000 lights…3500.00 Yeah 10K crap. Maybe the other cameraguy was only counting housing and camera…either way..Hilarious and lucky as hell.

  • Nick

    Hi, my name’s Nick and I’m a partner in the video production firm that produced this video (and our television show, “Into the Drink”). The rig is more like 10,000 bucks, Johnny was just a bit excited when he did the interview. ;)

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  • Ann

    That was very harmful to the manta. Maybe next time, don’t get so close.