PHOTOS: Stunning images of humpback whales in the South Pacific

Humpback whales off the coast of Tonga. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)

A photographer has swum with whales — and produced stunning images that document his experience.

The photos, taken by photographer Grant Thomas, show the whales up close and personal like you've never seen them before. The images were taken off the coast of Tonga in the South Pacific.

Thomas said: “I have always had a fascination with the natural world and in particular the ocean, as well as photography, but it wasn’t until I started working as a scuba diving instructor and purchased my first underwater housing four years ago that I took my photography underwater.

“Since then it has become a huge part of my life. Through my images I aim to show off the amazing life we have on our planet in hope of inspiring more people to experience it for themselves and, most importantly, care for it.

“I have been going back to Tonga every year for the past six years to swim with the whales, and it honestly never gets any less exciting.”

One image in the sequence shows a humpback whale meters away from Thomas’s foot, while another shows a diver lit up in the stunning ocean light with a humpback just a few meters away.

Thomas added: “I see something new every year, whether it be new behavior or a new species.

“There is nothing to be afraid of with the humpback whales, as these animals are some of the most majestic and peaceful creatures in the sea. They will often be very curious of people in the water and will even seek out interactions with us.” (Caters News)

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Humpback whales off the coast of Tonga. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Humpback whales off the coast of Tonga. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Humpback whales off the coast of Tonga. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Humpback whales off the coast of Tonga. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Humpback whales off the coast of Tonga. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Humpback whales off the coast of Tonga. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Humpback whales off the coast of Tonga. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Grant Thomas interacting with whales off the coast of Tonga. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Drone footage shows how friendly the whales off the coast of Tonga really are. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Humpback whales off the coast of Tonga. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Humpback whales off the coast of Tonga. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Drone footage shows how friendly the whales off the coast of Tonga really are. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Humpback whales off the coast of Tonga. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)
Photographer Grant Thomas. (Photo: Grant Thomas/Caters News)

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