Sperm Whale, Dominica

Photo of a sperm whale just below the water's surface.
Peter G. Allinson, M.D., Kingsville, Maryland, USA

“For the past few years I have visited the island of Dominica to enjoy its beauty both above and below the surface. This photo was taken during a lucky encounter with a member of the ‘group of 7’ pod. A very young calf measuring about 25 feet long came over and played with us for well over 45 minutes. The whale would swim right up to us, causing us to back away, then dive below us, spinning around while trying to rub against us. I suspect that part of its behavior was due to the exfoliation she was experiencing and possibly the presence of remora; she seemed to want us to rub her to help get the loose skin and remora off of her.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Peter G. Allinson

See a slideshow of other photos from the 2011 Nature's Best Photography Ocean Views Contest.

Tags: Whales