And they would have had to open their eyes even wider if they were in southern waters where whale sharks usually pass through close to the middle of the year. But this year, they've been spotted as early as January in Belize.

According to Director of Reef Conservation International in Sapodilla Caye, Polly Alford, this is not a rare occurrence - over the past 10 years she and her team have sighted them throughout the year. They spotted a whale shark last week and also saw one on New Year's Eve near Tom Owen's Caye and Sapodilla Caye.

So if you are looking to snap a picture of one of the whale sharks you can spot them in those areas.

Channel 7