Name our Whale Shark! – Giving U™

The winner is: Kubwa Ya Moyo – Swahili for Big Heart! This local African name won with 52% of the vote! Thank you everyone for participating!

The GoErinGo! Fund will make a $200 donation to sponsor our big-hearted whale shark!

Last month, I was lucky enough to volunteer in Mozambique, where I learned all about whale sharks – the biggest fish in the sea!

In support of this work, the GoErinGo! Fund will make a $200 donation to sponsor a whale shark and y’all get to name it!

Vote by Dec. 5 for your favorite whale shark name!

Which name do you like best for our sponsored Whale Shark?

  • Kubwa Ya Moyo – Swahili for Big Heart (52%, 17 Votes)
  • Tuk Hlavy – Slovak for Fat Head (27%, 9 Votes)
  • Bebê Doce – Portuguese for Sweet Baby (21%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 33

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What I like about these names is that they’re all fairly unpronounce-able. Hahahaha! My little joke for my friends back on the beach in Tofo, who are living just too good a life!

Here’s the skinny on the largest of all marine life:

Whale sharks are not only the largest fish (growing up to more than 40 feet in length and more that 45,000 lbs) but also the deepest diving fish – plunging nearly 2 kilometers deep. And whale sharks live a long time, with a life span of about 70 years.

The species originated more than 60 million years ago and are filter fish, meaning that they eat plankton (mostly). Their mouths can open nearly 5 feet wide and contain between 300-250 rows of tiny teeth.

And while I know whale sharks are harmless to humans, it is a little disconcerting to have one swimming toward you in the open ocean. I got to swim with the whale sharks 3 times, and each time I swam away in terror as the whale shark swam toward me with its mouth open. (It is true — no one can hear you scream underwater).

The first time I stayed away, but the next 2 times I re-gained my composure and swam back to the whale shark, tailing him from behind. It was a very very cool experience to be in the water with these gentle giants!

Identifying & Tracking Whale Sharks

Found in warm tropical waters, there are less than 3,500 whale sharks left and this little corner of the Mozambique coast surrounding the town of Tofo has 18% of them.

Whale sharks’ skin contains dot patterns that are as individualistic as a finger print. This is how we identify each whale shark. To calculate a whale shark’s size, we take a picture underwater using 2 laser beams projected onto the skin. The lasers give us a set marker in which to measure how large the whale shark is.

Here’s Dr. Simon Pierce — my friend and the leading authority on all things whale shark — telling us why his work is so important:

Can’t see this video? Click on this link: Why Whale Sharks are Important

For more information on whale sharks and other large “mega” marine life, visit

Don’t forget to vote on a name by Nov. 5!

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 and is filed under Donate My Dollars.

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