It's dinner time! Diver almost swallowed by whale shark

Ruth Doherty

Looks like this diver had a lucky escape from being swallowed by a whale shark's 1.5m mouth as he tried to take photos of it during a plankton feeding frenzy.

Whale sharks commonly grow to 40ft and are the sea's largest fish, while also being extremely docile.

The photographer, Mauricio Handler, narrowly escaped a 'wrong place at the wrong time' moment as he took snaps of a feeding frenzy in which 600 of the majestic animals gathered to feed on tuna spawn.

He travelled to Isla Mujeres in Mexico especially for the event, which happens once every year.

The father of two told the Daily Mail: 'The picture of the diver staring into the gaping jaws of the shark was an incredible adrenaline rush.

'I led an expedition of photographers and when you're down there with the fish it is like another world.

'On our last day I was taking a photograph of a whale and it ended up swimming at my photographer friend.

'They don't have very good eyesight but the diver managed to get out of the way.

'If he had have been sucked into the massive mouth the shark would have just spat him out.

'The sharks return here each year to feed on the tuna who spawn billions of eggs. This year there were about 600 and it was amazing to see.

'They are beautiful animals and are incredibly docile.'

Mauricio, from Maine, added: 'We use very hi-tech equipment to capture a very raw moment on camera.

'I feel as if it is my job to show people what they have never seen before. I'm there trying to get a unique angle so I put myself on the edge, right in the action.

'I want people to realise these animals are here but one day they will not be. We are treating the ocean like a supermarket and not allowing it to heal itself.'

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