2008 Photo Contest, Nature, 2nd prize

Paul Nicklen

National Geographic

01 January, 2006

A pod of male narwhals begin to dive. Transmitters show that these small whales dive to depths greater than 1800m, making them one of the deepest-diving animals on the planet. Narwhal tusks fetch large sums and the whales are legally hunted by some Inuit groups. The whales must be killed as they surface for air, while their lungs are full. Otherwise they will sink into the ocean.

About the photographer

Paul Nicklen

As a young boy, Paul Nicklen, a Canadian-born polar specialist and marine biologist, moved to Baffin Island and spent his childhood among the Inuit people. From them he learned t...

This image is collected in