It's behind you! Diver's unforgettable swim with mammoth 41ft whale shark

Yahoo! News UK
Photographer Reinhard Dirscherl took this extraordinary snap of whale shark, which looks like its about to eat a diver (Caters)

A diver swims, unaware that a deep sea predator is right behind her seemingly about to devour her whole.

Like a scene from a horror film, the whale shark approaches, its cavernous mouth opening wide.

Luckily, the 47,000lb shark chose to eat fish for dinner instead of the diver.

The spectacular shot was snapped by wildlife photographer Reinhard Dirscherl in Indonesia.

The experienced photographer happened to be in the right place at the right time to take the incredible shot.

Mr Dirscherl said: "I found the Whale Sharks under fishing boats. The fisherman use small fishes as bait for bigger fishes like Tuna´s or Grouper.

"The whale shark know this and eat the bait. In fact the fisherman hate the whale sharks!"

Mr Dirscherl, who is based in Munich, has been taking photos for the last 24 years and has won countless awards for his incredible underwater photography.

Mr Dirscherl started his photographic career in Thailand in 1989 by using a borrowed Nikonos, he took his first underwater shots along the reefs of the Similan Islands.

He said: "Looking at the results from today's perspective, my exploits were disastrous! Yet I was instantly driven to produce better pictures.

"I've never really asked people what they think of my photos but I won some really important competitions like the second place prize at the World Press Photo Contest in 2011, so I must be doing something right."

The whale shark, which is harmless to humans, is a slow-moving filter feeding shark and is the largest fish in the world with a length of 41ft.

The species originated approximately 60 million years ago, and are commonly found in tropical and warm oceans and in open sea with a lifespan of about 70 years.