Photo by @.
A close-up view of the soulful eye of a Southern Right Whale, photographed in the sub-antarctic waters of New Zealand's Auckland Islands. Barnacles and cyamids (small crustaceans) live in rough patches of skin around the whale’s eye, giving shape and color to the frame. Southern Right Whales are endangered, but have recovered fairly well since the early whaling days. Their cousins - the North Atlantic Right Whales - however, have not recovered and remain the most endangered species of whale on Earth, with only about 500 remaining. The North Atlantic Right Whale lives much closer to human industrialization and are hit by ships, entangled in fishing gear and are effected by pollution. Southern Right Whales tend to live further away from industrialization and, as such, have fared better.
This whale was very curious about me, following me underwater. I'm so lucky to have been allowed into his world.