A woman swimming alongside a sperm whale in Dominica © Brandon Cole / Offset
Swimming elephant Rajan with snorkelers and divers, Havelock Island © LOOK / Offset
More than 95 percent of the ocean deep remains unexplored by mankind, shrouded in mystery and folklore. It’s only been in recent years that we’ve realized the extent to which we have destroyed marine life, but with growing concern over the fate of our planet’s water, we’ve also come to know and to protect some of the most rare and exquisite species on the planet.
Take, for instance, the whale shark, the largest known fish in existence. They are protected by organizations like the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme, who travel the depths of the azure sea in search of the gentle and slow-moving creatures, who can reach up to 60 feet long in adulthood.
For this group show, we culled the rich collection of Offset imagery to find some of the most breathtaking diving scenes from around the world. These pictures capture close encounters with the likes of the Mola mola, or ocean sunfish, who despite their size—they can weigh over a ton!— are known for being a bit fearful of humans, though they can grow accustomed to experienced divers.