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Wildlife photographer captures rare close-up footage of friendly sperm whales

Having a whale of a time! Wildlife photographer captures rare close-up footage of friendly sperm whales

  • Mike Korostelev captured the shots of the hefty mammals in the Indian Ocean 
  • He was joined by champion free diver Irina Smolentseva who floated yards away 
  • Mike said the whales enjoyed their company and didn’t like it when they left 

This is the remarkable moment an underwater photographer and a snorkeler swam among a pod of enormous sperm whales. 

Wildlife snapper Mike Korostelev captured the rare close-up shots of the friendly sea creatures as they drifted in the Indian Ocean.

He was joined by show champion free diver Irina Smolentseva who floated just yards away from the hefty mammals.  

Wildlife snapper Mike Korostelev captured the rare close-up shots of the sea creatures as they drifted in the Indian Ocean alongside show champion free diver Irina Smolentseva

Wildlife snapper Mike Korostelev captured the rare close-up shots of the sea creatures as they drifted in the Indian Ocean alongside show champion free diver Irina Smolentseva

Mike said: 'We got pretty close to the whales and they of course were aware of us. It looked like they were curious about us'

Mike said: ‘We got pretty close to the whales and they of course were aware of us. It looked like they were curious about us’

Mike said: ‘We got pretty close to the whales and they of course were aware of us. It looked like they were curious about us. 

‘They definitely watched our behaviour and in some way were playing with us.

‘It’s a very unusual feeling when creatures as giant as those are playing with you.

‘When we were in water they were making circles around us. When we wanted to get back to the boat to have a bit of a rest they didn’t let us go.

‘We had a feeling that they really enjoyed playing with us.’

The short clip shows four sperm whales lolling in the water just below the surface while Irina, wearing a snorkel mask and flippers watches them from incredibly close proximity

The short clip shows four sperm whales lolling in the water just below the surface while Irina, wearing a snorkel mask and flippers watches them from incredibly close proximity

The rare footage highlights the sperm whale's bizarre body shape which sets it apart from other species of the mammal

The rare footage highlights the sperm whale’s bizarre body shape which sets it apart from other species of the mammal

The short clip shows four sperm whales lolling in the water just below the surface while Irina, wearing a snorkel mask and flippers watches them from incredibly close proximity. 

The rare footage highlights the sperm whale’s bizarre body shape which sets it apart from other species of the mammal.

Sperm whales have exceptionally large square heads, which make up a third of their body length, and short fins on either side of their body.  

Although the video shows the whales lingering near the surface and occasionally breaking through the waterline, they can dive to depths of up to 1.8 miles and hold their breath for a mammoth two hours.    

Although the video shows the whales lingering near the surface and occasionally breaking through the waterline, they can dive to depths of up to 1.8 miles and hold their breath for a mammoth two hours

Although the video shows the whales lingering near the surface and occasionally breaking through the waterline, they can dive to depths of up to 1.8 miles and hold their breath for a mammoth two hours

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