Lemon Sharks Are Some of the Friendliest Sea Creatures. Here’s Where You Can Dive With Them.
Whether you find the idea of encountering a shark in open water to be exhilarating or terrifying, the lemon shark is one undersea species that you might just be charmed to meet. Lemon sharks are known for being calm and curious, and they tend to be pretty easy to spot in warm, shallow waters from the Caribbean Sea to the South Pacific.
One lemon shark named Snooty is having a moment on social media due to the fact that it appears to sport a permanent grin and enjoys nose rubs, as discovered by a scuba divers.
@matadornetwork Getting up close and personal with #lemonsharks 🦈 Did you know that there are places where you can safely dive with #sharks? These majestic #seacreatures prefer shallow marine waters and can be found primarily in the Western North Atlantic Ocean from Florida and Brazil. They're also very curious when it comes to investigating new objects, making them a big hit with #divers! 🎥 @oceanraysphotography #sharktok #sharkteeth ♬ original sound – Matador Network
If you’re suddenly interested in making friends with a lemon shark, your options for finding them are plentiful. Lemon sharks inhabit the tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Indo-Pacific region. They’re often found near shoreline coral reefs and estuaries in popular destinations ranging from Hawaii to Australia to Brazil. A couple of places, notably parts of Mexico and certain Caribbean islands, are particularly famous for facilitating scuba excursions with lemon sharks. These are the best places to scuba dive with lemon sharks.
Lemon sharks are common in The Bahamas and are often spotted around shallow reefs and islands where they feed on smaller fish and crustaceans. The temperature and visibility of these waters make it an ideal place for scuba divers to encounter lemon sharks. Tiger Beach, a sand flat located an hour offshore Grand Bahama Island, is one famous shark-diving site. It gets its name from its sizable tiger shark population but also plays host to numerous lemon sharks, as well as other species such as bonnethead, hammerhead, and Caribbean reef sharks. Bimini Island is another popular spot for diving with lemon sharks. The westernmost Bahamian island, Bimini is located just off the coast of Florida, approximately two hours from Miami by ferry.
The Yucatan Peninsula
Located between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, the Yucatán Peninsula is home to many different species of shark, including lemon sharks. Popular dive sites include Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, located off the coast of Playa del Carmen and Cancún, respectively. (Fun fact: You can dive with the world’s most dangerous sharks in Playa del Carmen, too.) But Isla Mujeres is especially known for its large population of lemon sharks. In fact, Isla Mujeres has been named one of the best places for shark diving in the world in general due to its crystal-clear waters and abundance of different species, including bull sharks, nurse sharks, reef sharks, whale sharks, and even mako sharks on rare occasions.