August 30th is International Whale Shark Day. This international day was declared such in 2008 during the International Whale Shark Conference that took place on Isla Holbox, where representatives from over 40 countries met to share their research about this huge fish, and agreed that this day should be dedicated to celebrating whale sharks, promoting their conservation, and educating the public about them.
The whale shark is the world's largest fish, and can reach up to 60 feet (18 m) in length. Its back is gray or dark blue, with light colored markings, and its belly is white. It has a wide, flat head with small eyes on the sides, and a big mouth that extends the entire width of its body, as you can see in this photo. The whale shark moves slowly along the water's surface, filtering large amounts of water and consuming plancton, crustaceans and small fish.
The Galapagos Islands are known for encounters with whale sharks and other big animals such as hammerhead sharks, galapagos sharks, white tip reef sharks, black tip reef sharks and silky sharks. The whale shark season in the Galapagos Islands is from July to September.