You mer-maid my day! Stunning underwater shots show seal in graceful mermaid pose
A photographer has captured a stunning underwater shot of a seal cub resting upright – making it look like a mermaid.
The juvenile Atlantic grey seal was snapped having a snooze with its head above the surface of the water and its tail perfectly visible underneath the surface – giving it the appearance of the mythical creature.
The seal, which is about a year old, was also filmed twirling in the waves.
The snaps were taken by professional photographer Mike Radcliffe, 57, at an inlet known as The Sound in the Isle of Man.
Mike from Douglas, Isle of Man, said: “I called it the resting mermaid pose because of the position and the tail.
“It’s called bottling when the seal hangs with its head up – quite often sleeping. On this occasion she was quite animated and active.
“I stood on the edge of a small ledge looking down over the inlet and used a long zoom lens with a polarising filter to remove the surface glare.
“That particular day the weather was clear and the water surface was clean. It was one of those perfect moments where the weather was great and the light was good and the seal was almost posing for me. It was perfect.
“I love the natural curiosity of the seal. They’re real characters and have that curious nature like a dog.
“I spent a good hour and a half watching this particular seal.
“There’s a small inlet where the mother puts the seal cub before going off to do her own thing and comes back to collect her later.
“I think this one is a female because the males tend to have a more prominent brow.
“It was a very regular haunt for her for the last year.
“She’s not disturbed by humans. There are coach parties that go down to the inlet and she’s completely nonplussed.
“It makes it easy to photograph when the animals come to you and you don’t go to them. I like to catch natural behaviours not a staged photograph.”
The dad of two said as it’s coming into pup season seals can often be seen lying on the rocks in an area called The Sound – the southern most point on the mainland of the Isle of Man.
Mike said: “Most of the seals are born on a small island off the southern tip of the Isle of Man so there’s always lots of them to see.”
Mike has been taking photographs professionally for three years after retiring from the police force.
He now runs his own photography school – Mike Radcliffe Photography.