The whale shark is a shark, not a whale, making it the biggest fish on the planet as it reaches length of up to 30 meters. Unlike with most sharks, its mouth is on the front of the head, not underneath, and it feeds mainly on plankton and small fish so is considered harmless to humans.
Galapagos – Been There

Swimming with the biggest fish on the planet

Photo by Milko Vuille

Galapagos – Been There Swimming with the biggest fish on the planet

I was in the Galapagos to photograph whale sharks, but nothing prepared me for swimming with the biggest fish on the planet.

Milko Vuille
Milko Vuille

I have been a diver and a photographer for many years. When I was a child, I wrote to Jacques-Yves Cousteau because I wanted to be onboard his ship, the Calypso. This was my third time in Galapagos and this time I could join the Cousteau divers  – a childhood dream come true.

I think the spirit of Captain Cousteau was with us. We saw five or six whale sharks on every dive. I wish everyone could experience it one day - that is why I am so happy to share my pictures. These pictures were very challenging to shoot as the visibility in the waters around the Galapagos Islands is not always the best and the depth varies so much.  Sometimes we were near the surface, with a bright light from the sun, and sometimes very deep. The whale sharks are fast, so you have to work faster and know your equipment. Action and adrenaline!

I also had to be careful as they came so close but it is forbidden to touch any animal in the Galapagos. You must have respect for such wonderful creatures and you do not want to scare them either. I was lucky that they swam past me. One even rose up right underneath me. The images in my head are still better than any I took!

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The distinctive tail is one of the few visible characteristics the whale sharks shares with other sharks and its non-aggressive nature makes it easy to approach for divers. A deep ocean fish, it is usually found only to the north of Galapagos during the cold season when the Humboldt Current is at its strongest. Photo by Milko Vuile / Waterproof Expeditions

Milko Vuile

Milko Vuile

NIKON D7000

Agency
Waterproof Expeditions
Aperture
ƒ/56/10
Exposure
10/1000
ISO
100
Focal
105/10 mm

The distinctive tail is one of the few visible characteristics the whale sharks shares with other sharks and its non-aggressive nature makes it easy to approach for divers. A deep ocean fish, it is usually found only to the north of Galapagos during the cold season when the Humboldt Current is at its strongest.

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