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Don't get the hump, I'm just taking a photo... Diver snaps 50ft humpback whale


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Don't get the hump, I'm just taking a photo... Diver snaps 50ft humpback whale



By Eddie Wrenn

Last updated at 7:26 AM on 20th August 2009




Try as you might, you're unlikely to get a holiday snap quite like this one. . .


In the deep blue waters of the South Pacific, cameraman Marco Queral gets up close and personal with a humpback whale.


The experienced diver even seems to be hitching a lift on the flipper of the 50ft female. Queral, 42, who has spent 17 years taking such remarkable pictures, said: 'Whales are extremely intelligent. Just like humans, they have their own mind and come with strong personalities.


Enlarge article-0-061B1275000005DC-413_634x393.jpg Swimming together: The humpback whale takes the diver by the fin and goes for a spin

'They decide whether I can take pictures of them or not. They must be in a right mood to let me get into this position.'


With a playful flick of his colossal tail Queral could be dead.

But instead this curious, intelligent humpback whale takes a shine to Queral, and the two end up drifting through the seas together.

The astonishing contact between the 50ft king of the ocean and the minuscule human was captured off Hawaii in the South Pacific last week.


Queral said the jaw-dropping moment was all down to luck, and little to do with the skills he has mastered over 17 years.

He said: 'The success in getting these shots is pretty much always down to the whale.'

Enlarge article-1207590-061B1271000005DC-144_634x838.jpg Reaching out to make contact: The humpback whale and Marco Queral look like they're about take part in an underwater dance

To get his spectacular images of marine life the world, South American Marco relies on various tricks to catch the attention of passing creatures.

'Perhaps the most effective and possibly only way to help my photography is to try to stimulate their curiosity.

'Dolphins, for example, sometimes love to hang out with me when I do some acrobats underwater like spinning and turning.

'They get as curious about me as I am about them, and that is the right time to take pictures of them as they show their individual personalities.'


Enlarge article-0-061B1221000005DC-520_634x803.jpg Marco Queral gazes down on the humpback whale, as the two get to know each other

But mammals as large as whales are a different and much more dangerous affair.

Marco said: 'Their enormous size itself must be considered as an immediate life-threatening danger.

'I must be very cautious when they approach and investigate me.

'I believe they are gentle by nature but I am always aware their kind greeting of a tail swing may easily kill me by accident.

'Also, they are usually more shy and cautious toward humans and boats than dolphins are, perhaps because they are not so accustomed to seeing humans offshore.

'I think their bashfulness and timidity have been ingrained into their DNA as they have been chased and hunted by humans for centuries.'

Enlarge article-0-061B12A9000005DC-849_634x413.jpg The gentle beast heads to the surface, seeking a close encounter

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