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Photographer has once in a lifetime swim with giant whale shark

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean, growing up to 55 feet in length and weighing upwards of 50,000 pounds. They swim through the oceans majestically, moving throughout tropical waters all around the world. Despite their immense size, they are one of the gentlest and most docile creatures on the planet. These are sharks, and in fact, the world's largest. But they have no teeth. They open their gaping mouths as they move through the water, filtering out fish eggs, plankton and krill. They occasionally eat very small fish as well, but they have no teeth and no means of biting or chewing their prey. They could not possibly harm a human, even if they wanted to. The only risk of being hurt by on of these creatures is in swimming too close and being bumped. These photographers have chartered an ethical eco tour called Serious Divers, from Isla Mujeres, Mexico. They specifically chose this operation because they are known for their conservation efforts and responsible behavior. They were instrumental in pressuring the government for laws and regulations that protect these beautiful animals from irresponsible tour operator and careless tourists. The photographer has traveled from Canada to experience a close encounter with a whale shark. On this day, she got her wish. She plunged into the water near a whale shark feeding area and was met by a massive beast swimming toward her. The whale shark cruised gracefully past her and turned to swim in large circles around the area. This allowed her to swim beside the beautiful shark and photograph for several minutes. These encounters can only be enjoyed while accompanied by a licensed guide who ensures proper behavior so that the whale sharks are not affected negatively. Swimming this close to a 55 foot whale shark is an unforgettable experience.

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