Whale Sharks as Good Luck Charms

In Cenderawasih Bay, in West Papua, Indonesia, fishermen set out for days on hand-made floating platforms called bagans. At night, they turn on lights to attract squid and baitfish, and lower nets from their bagans—also attracting whale sharks to the smell and commotion. Bagan fishermen have long believed that whale sharks bring good luck and feed them bits of baitfish. Today, the luck comes to them in the form of marine tourism, as people travel to Cenderawasih Bay for up-close encounters with these gentle giants. Photographer Pete Oxford visited the bay, and returned with these photos, recently published in the online magazine bioGraphic.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Ivan Alvarado / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Prehistoric Tongue, First Snow, Panda Scan

    Autumn colors in Belgium; chess-boxing in Paris; dinosaurs in India; bushfires in Australia; impeachment hearings in Washington, D.C.; Santa Claus in Germany; tennis in London, and much more

  • NASA

    The Flight of Apollo 12: Photos From 50 Years Ago

    A look back at the second mission to land humans on the moon, which blasted off on November 14, 1969.

  • Stefano Mazzola / Awakening / Getty

    Venice Underwater: The Highest Tide in 50 Years

    A record-setting acqua alta has left much of Venice submerged, following stormy conditions blowing in from the Adriatic Sea.

  • Muhammad Anuar bin Jamal / Shutterstock

    The Magic of Fall Colors

    Bundle up, maybe grab a mug of hot cider, and enjoy this batch of recent fall photos.