Every year, National Geographic holds a travel photographer of the year contest, and this picture of a whale watching us watching them is one of the many outstanding entries.

Every year, tens of thousands of visitors and tourists to Sri Lanka witness the passage of these magnificent animals as they pass close to our southern coasts.

Writes the photographer, Mark Seabury in The Atlantic: “This photograph captures a whale behavior called ‘spy hopping’, where whales poke their head above the water to take a look around and see what is happening above the surface.

“It’s like these majestic mammals of the sea understand we were watching them and were trying to connect with us in some way. In this shot, I wanted to capture this by showing the whale between two worlds, ours above the surface and its below, at the precise moment when it is about to make that connection.”

See more amazing travel and wildlife pictures here.

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