An underwater photographer has captured stunning images of a 'fish tornado' surrounding sand tiger sharks off the coast of North Carolina.
The Telegraph reports that Tanya Houppermans, an award-winning underwater photographer, took photographs of sharks swimming through what has been described as a "fish tornado."
The images show the fish banding together to create a "bait ball" formation. The fish form "bait balls" as a defensive measure to surround predators.
The shots were captured on July 10 and 11, 2017, in the waters of Morehead City, where Tanya has been shooting for eight years.
Houppermans said that she had never seen a bait ball as large as the one she photographed last month.
The images provide a fascinating glimpse into sharks' incredible world. "I am always amazed by how incredibly graceful and beautiful sharks are," Houppermans said. "Here is an animal that has been around in one form or another for a few hundred million years, and is so perfectly suited for its environment that you can’t help but be awestruck seeing one in the wild."
Houppermans told the Telegraph that while her favorite subject is sharks, “I really enjoy photographing most anything underwater from tiny shrimp to massive shipwrecks."
“I hope to capture images that inspire people to care about the ocean and the creatures that live in it,” continued Houppermans.