9.4.10

GENTLE GIANTS

Check out these amazing pictures
of divers with sperm whales.


The playful whales have proved themselves
genuine gentle giants of the sea by allowing
divers to get up close and personal.

The 57-tonne mammals, which can grow up to 20.5m
(67ft) long, were happy for snorklers to swim
with them - and even wanted the humans
to rub their big bellies.

Hunted for their oil, and demonised as monsters
in fiction such as Herman Melville’s Moby Dick,
the whales showed their softer side in
Dominica, the Caribbean, to divers
including Dr Peter Allinson.


"When they interact with us they approach
us closely, rolling over again and again, trying
to get us to rub their abdomens and bodies,"
said the 61-year-old, from Florida.


"When you start getting close to them you feel
nervous, intimidated and then, as they interact
with you, intense pleasure. You realise
they are intelligent."


The is was named after the oily white
spermeceti found in its head and used
in candles, cosmetics and soap.


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