By Michael Scott
Getting up close and personal with a shark is like second nature for these divers, as they enjoy a playful swim with the creatures off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida.
Captured by diver and photographer, Leigh Cobb, the images show Ryan Walton as he holds the noses of some of the Lemon sharks, clearly demonstrating that the sharks love to play.
Using a form of hypnosis called Tonic Immobility which works by touching the sensitive nerve endings on their noses, the divers are able to form an incredible bond with the animals.
Leigh said: “Although I’m an experienced diver I still need to keep my wits about me as these are wild animals and there are no cages for us and no training involved.
“Some of the sharks we know by name, and the one Ryan is with is called Stevie.
“She loves playing with him and will come back to him time and again; it’s like watching two kids playing, even if he turns her back on her, she will swim around and nudge him.”
Leigh said that Lemon sharks are not considered dangerous, and like all other sharks, are inquisitive but not afraid of humans.
They will generally come relatively close but still stay their distance to a degree.
She said: “I dive with sharks most days, all over the world. I think of myself as incredibly lucky to share their world. They really are not the Jaws that so many people associate with sharks.”