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This is the astonishing moment a huge whale shark was captured looking beneath a boat full of unsuspecting tourists.
The enormous creature – the world’s largest species of fish – appears to dwarf the boat as it floats just below the surface in a crystal clear sea.
The whale shark spends most of its time living mysteriously at depths unreachable by humans but from March until July they can be seen of the back of the Ningaloo Reef In Coral Bay and Exmouth, Australia.
The extraordinary image was taken by Tom Cannon, 26, earlier this week off the coast of Western Australia and captures the gaping abyss of the whale shark’s giant mouth.
Tom said: ‘The picture was taken about 6km off shore on the back of the Ningaloo Reef Coral Bay while on tour with Ningaloo Reef Dive and Snorkel.
‘I wasn’t scared, we swim with these guys quite a lot and people come from across the world to see them.
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‘They are a very docile fish and will often shy away from anything they feel threatened by.
‘This particular shark was really curious and spent the entire 50 minutes on the surface with us chasing bubbles and checking everybody out.’
Tom, originally from Shoreham, added: ‘The creature isn’t dangerous. We are their biggest threat with the increasing pollution to our oceans they need our help!’
Whale sharks are slow-moving, filter feeders which can grow up to 40 feet in length and weigh 20 tons.