Amazing Nature


These scantily-clad free divers were left saying ‘fancy SEA-ing you here!’ after swimming alongside some of the ocean’s most incredible creatures.

Freediving instructor Yahia Barakah, 29, captured the stunning shots of wife Kristina Zvaritch, 28, and pals Fiona Fehrsen and Georgie White diving with huge manta rays, dugongs, bufferfish and jackfish.

The crystal clear clarity of the water at Indonesia’s Komodo National Park, where the peaceful underwater photos were taken earlier this year, creates an optical illusion where the women appear closer to the amazing animals than they actually are.

Indonesian Yahia said free diving allows the sea creatures to feel more ‘comfortable and curious’ due to the lack of bubbles.

The snapper of six months added: “The freedivers would dive down slowly and smoothly to inspect them closer while keeping a respectful distance to not scare them off.

“That is the moment I would capture this gentle interaction between the divers and the animals.

“ What I love about these pictures is that they contain these moments when humans are there, unassisted with any breathing apparatus, next to sea creatures in their natural habitat.

“I think it’s the most natural way to interact with them, and the lack of bubbles certainly helps these creatures feel comfortable and curious!”

Yahia said Komodo National Park, located within the country’s Lesser Sunda Islands, is one of the world’s most amazing spots for interacting with sea life due to the currents moving through it.

He added: “We were staying on a liveaboard and every morning we would go out into the sea, drift with the current, and see what wildlife we might come across.

“Since the region is full of life, it isn’t so difficult to come across some amazing animals.”