Meet Paul Nicklen – a very brave diver and contributing photographer for National Geographic Magazine. A while back, Nicklen was in Antarctica looking to get into the water with a leopard seal to capture photos of it in its natural habitat. Although leopard seals don’t normally attack humans, incidents have occurred in the past and they are one of the ocean’s most deadly predators with a head twice a big as that of a grizzly bear!
So as you can imagine Nicklen was pretty terrified swimming up to one, especially after she took his whole head and camera into her deadly jaws! With one snap his life could of been over, but then the most amazing thing happened. The once deadly deep sea creature, sure to be his demise, started to care about him. Instead of making a meal of him, she went out to get him a live penguin in an attempt to feed it to him instead. The leopard seal even started to panic once she realized he was basically this useless predator floating around the ocean, likely to starve to death. So she started to round up even weaker penguins and tried to teach him how to eat one. She would push the penguins into his camera, probably mistaking it for his mouth which is “every photographer’s dream” Nicklen said.
So here I came to Antarctica, to photograph this potentially vicious animal, to have this predator, this top predator in Antarctics, take care of me, and nurture me, and feed me for four days straight. It was the most incredible experience I’ve ever had as a National Geographic photographer. – Paul Nicklen
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