In Human Culture
Known as a deity in a Vietnamese culture, the whale shark is called "Ca Ong", which literally translates as "Sir Fish".
In Mexico, and throughout much of Latin America, the whale shark is known as "pez dama" or "domino" for its distinctive patterns of spots. However, they go by "Sapodilla Tom" in Belize due to the regularity of sightings near the Sapodilla Cayes on the Belize Barrier Reef.
In Africa, the names for the whale shark are very evocative: "papa shillingi" in Kenya came from the myth that God threw shillings upon the shark which are now its spots. In Madagascar the name is "marokintana" meaning "many stars".
Javanese also reference the stars by calling it "geger lintang," meaning "stars in the back". In the Philippines, it is called "butanding" and "balilan", while in Madurese, it is known as "kikaki".
The whale shark is featured on the reverse of the Philippine one hundred peso bill.
Read more about this topic: Whale Shark
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