It’s not every day that real life takes a turn for the fantastical, yet photographer Brian Skerry managed to experience a moment ripped straight from the pages of Moby Dick. This National Geographic photographer swam his way into the surreal encounter during an expedition to the Auckland Islands, which are remotely located between New Zealand and Antarctica. The goal of his mission? To capture the elusive right whale on film.
However, he never could’ve predicted he’d get this close to the majestic animal. Skerry acted fast as the 45-foot-whale swam curiously close to his assistant, snapping the photograph and immortalizing this undeniably rare rendezvous between man and marine mammal on the bottom of the ocean floor. National Geographic reports that right whales have been listed as an Endangered Species for decades after the population was driven to near extinction through centuries of aggressive whaling.
And while they’re the rarest whales in the world, what strikes us most is Skerry’s description of the animal as docile. To envision such a large imposing creature as not menacing, but rather playfully curious, makes this moment all the more incredible. What did you think? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and make sure to SHARE if you found this as unbelievable as we did.