29 March 2013

Whale's eye

In Beautiful Whale, [Bryant] Austin describes an encounter with Ella, a curious minke whale off the coast of Australia. He was taking photographs as Ella swam around. The whale liked to look at him head on, a fact that Austin used to maneuver her into better lighting. Her desire to see his face was strong enough that she'd swim around him, if he turned his back to her.

"This requires some discipline and trust in the whales. At times Ella would initiate a close inspection of me from behind, where ambient lighting was poor. Peering over my shoulder, I could see her body pass by less than six feet away. I turned back to face forward, trusting her not to accidentally harm me," Austin writes. "In my experience working with whales this way, our eyes seem to gravitate toward each other." 
-- Alexis Madrigal

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