When scientists needed assistance in taming wild beluga whales at a captivity center off the shores of the White Sea near the Arctic Circle, they called on a Russian scientist free diver named Natalia Avseenko. Aveensko braved the -1.5 degrees Centigrade waters, diving in nude in order to interact with the beluga whales.
It is believed that the whales were not comfortable working with humans wearing diving suits, equipment, and clothing. The experiment run by scientists at the Utrish Dolphinarium was to encourage human interaction and training with the whales by maintaining a comfortable environment.
Being submerged in below zero waters can be fatal but Avseenko was able to swim with the whales for over 10 minutes. Although such conditions usually prove fatal, the Russian diver used a combination of meditation and yoga techniques to carry through with the experiment. The results were impressive as Avseenko successfully interacted with the whales through responsive facial expression.
Click 'START' to see beautiful photos of Aveensko's breathtaking swim with the beluga whales. Be warned that some photos do contain nudity.