Check Out These Wild Close Encounters with Animals

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If you’ve ever really wanted to get to know more about our friends in the animal kingdom but still wanted to survive the experience, there are great places all over the world where you can go to fulfill your dream.

Scuba Dive with Whale Sharks

There are plenty of places that offer this experience but in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, located in the Yucatán Peninsula, you’ll find the largest population of whale sharks in the entire world. They grow more than 40-feet long and weigh up to 15 tons. But don’t let their looks deceive you. These whales are some of the gentlest creatures you’ll meet. They don’t even have teeth and are not afraid to interact with humans. If diving is not your thing, pick up some snorkel gear and get ready for an enchanting wild encounter.

Plod Through Water with Pigs

For a fine time with swine, you can head to Pig Beach, Bahamas, and you’ll get to experience something unique. Nobody knows how exactly this group of pigs came to reside in the uninhabited Big Major Cay (known as Pig Beach), but one theory is that the animals found their way to the island after getting tossed overboard from a shipwrecked supply boat. One thing we do know for sure is that these pigs are friendly. And they love to swim.

Swim with Jellyfish

Ever wondered what it would be like to swim with jellyfish and not get stung? Well, now you’ll have the opportunity to find out. In Palau, on the island of Eil Malk, visitors can stop at a place called Jellyfish Lake and swim with the invertebrates. The golden jellyfish that live in these secluded waters have lost their ability to sting and are able to live predator-free. Snorkel and scuba diving tours are available to give you a look at marine life from an entirely different perspective.

Play with Rabbits

Okunoshima, an island in Japan, is a holiday resort of sorts, for friendly bunnies. It’s no wonder then that this spectacular site is called Rabbit Island. There you’ll find countless wild rabbits that roam the forests and paths, chase tourists (some will even hop onto your lap in exchange for a carrot), lounge around, and often get captured in photos or videos doing ridiculously cute things. These bunnies, however, have made a beautiful home out a place that has a dark history. Their playground was once a secret chemical weapons plant in the 1920s that was shut down after World War II. Today, the furry creatures show us that even in the most wretched of places, true happiness can be born.

Walk with Penguins

“Happy Feet” will have nothing on you after you experience what it’s like to walk amongst penguins. In Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, there’s an enclave known as Penguin City. There, you’ll find thousands of pairs of Magellanic penguins along with a small group of Gentoo. Boat tours take you to check out penguin nesting colonies, and some allow you the ultimate adventure of stepping out to mingle with them. It might be chilly, but how can you pass up an opportunity to spend time with the one animal who never fails to warm our hearts.

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