It’s my 21st birthday and tonight I’m dressing up as a dragon and drinking whiskey.
But first, nap time.
pete g. allinson spends four days to a week trying to photograph the sperm whales off the coast of dominica. there are about 150 whales living in the area, and allinson uses a hydrophone to find their general location, and then waits patiently for the whales come to the surface to breathe and socialize.
allinson, giving the whales plenty of space and using a snorkel so as not disturb the animals with the bubbles of a scuba tanks, then gets into the water in the hopes that they will approach him.
notes allison, “when they interact with us they approach us very closely, rolling over again and again, trying to get us to rub their abdomens and bodies. when you start getting close to them you feel nervous and intimidated, and then as they interact with you, you feel intense pleasure. you realise they are intelligent.”
he adds, “they are truly beautiful creatures and i photograph them in the hopes of helping to save the whales. the more people who understand these wonderful animals the better”
sperm whales have been hunted for the last three hundred years by those seeking the oily white spermeceti found in their heads, which has been used in everything from lamp oil to cosmetics to pharmaceutical compounds, and which gives the whales their name.
currently listed as a vulnerable species, sperm whale numbers have rebounded thanks to hunting bans, though this still puts them at a fraction of their pre whaling numbers.
photos taken during the april 2010 volcanic eruptions in eyjafjallajokull, iceland by skarphedinn thrainsson, gunnar gestur geirmundsson, marco fulle, lucas jackson, sigurdur hrafn stefnisson and ragnar th sigurdsson. text from here and here.