“When Patrick Dykstra saw a life-sized replica of a blue whale in the Smithsonian at age 16, he dreamed of having an underwater encounter with the biggest animal on Earth, according to the Daily Mail. The filmmaker, born in Denver and currently based in Dubai, fulfilled his dream in the tropical waters off Sri Lanka where he captured stunning underwater and aerial videos and images of blue whales while swimming with the giant sea creatures, which can reach 98-feet long and weigh 200 tons.
The whales are the largest animal to ever inhabit the earth, and outsize even the biggest dinosaurs. Stunning drone footage captures the enormous mammals from above, while in other shots a kayaker paddles just metres from one of the awe-inspiring creatures.
“Nothing on Earth compares to the experience of being side by side with the largest animal to ever inhabit the planet and to dive into its environment,” Dykstra, 35, told the Daily Mail. “I use my photography and videography to help study these animals in hopes of understanding and protecting them.”