The Tahiti Traveler

Meeting with the Hammerhead Shark

It’s been said: French Polynesia is a well acknowledged destination in the worldwide scuba diving circuit. But did you know? Chances are, you might face the very discreet hammer head shark? Come along for a memorable encounter with this mystical (and highly impressive) predator.

Fun diving is an absolutely accurate term for diving in the Marquisas Archipelago. Here, waters are just the opposite of still and calm waters you can experience in the Tuamotu islands and in the Society Archipelago. Marquises waters are filled with wandering particles, deprived from reef protection and constantly swung by the ocean swell. Fun.

A memorable face to face

Diving here often starts with an introductory giant manta rays encounter. These animals, symbol of majesty, elegance and freedom just love the place for the abundant plankton and if you are lucky just enough, you might find yourself swimming right next to a massive historic creature! Well, at least, this is the feeling you will get when you will meet a two meter long hammerhead shark! He looks like his has swum right out of Jurassic Park!

It is not uncommon to meet a hammerhead shark in the Marquises archipelago. The shark can also be observed in the Tuamotu islands or in the Society archipelago, where he likes to hunt along the shores. The hammerhead has a binocular view, thanks to its wide shaped head, which allows him to sit on top of the food chain.

We do not know much about him, except that he feeds on rays, octopuses, squids, crustaceans and even on other shark species! But don’t you worry; he is not fond of human flesh, in fact hammerheads will most likely keep a distance of about 10 meters.

Finally, the highlight of this encounter would be to witness an about turn! This will allow you to admire his remarkable dorsal fin, which permits extremely high agility while hunting. The narrow passes in Rangiroa are also an excellent place to meet the hammerhead shark. This diving encounter is amongst the most amazing experience you can get from a stay in French Polynesia!