Scuba Diving Photos
6 Daredevil Dives
The antarctic is the world’s most demanding dive environment: 28-degree water temps, roily seas, shifting ice floes, crashing icebergs. Add to this diving among 11-foot, 1,200-pound leopard seals with the mobility of 25 mph torpedoes, and you have what’s perhaps the most extreme underwater experience imaginable. “I’ve been working with leopard seals for 10 years,” says Göran Ehlme, co-founder of polar dive operator waterproof expeditions, “and I have developed a love affair with this animal. But first and foremost, it is important to remember that the leopard seal is a wild animal governed by the rules of survival in one of the most inhospitable environments in the world.” More than 200,000 of these seals live along the ice shelves, with late February to march being the months of highest concentration as they hunt for penguin chicks. “The first time I entered the water with leopard seals, I had a huge female open her jaws and display her jagged teeth just inches from my face,” recounts Ehlme. “I was uncomfortable at first, but over the years, I’ve found immense peace diving with these elegant creatures.”
There is diving – the casual pursuit of water time for the simple fun of it. And then there's DIVING — exploring new frontiers and edgy locations where divers are few and far between. It’s about discoveries with purpose, and exotic marine life that are truly exceptional. Risk? Sure, there’s some. But the rewards are substantial. For anyone who loves checking off another species (and an excuse to travel around the world), here are diving’s most daring encounters.