Whale Shark and Diver, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Photo by Christopher Doherty
Photographer Chris Doherty captured this shot on his fifth encounter with whale sharks. "Each time the feeling is indescribable. It is such an amazing feeling to have the privilege of swimming next to the largest fish in the ocean. They are such gentle, curious and at times even playful animals that I can't wait for my next encounter."
Doherty saw this particular whale shark as he was swimming with a friend; sharks gathered around them by the hundreds to feed on the eggs of spawning fish. "With his mouth wide open gorging on billions of microscopic fish eggs, I tried to swim as close as I could without disturbing him," Doherty explains.
For more of Doherty's photographs, check out his website, and visit our photo contest page for more information about our 2013 competition.