Freediver Natalia Avseenko braves sub-zero temperatures near the Arctic Circle to swim with rare beluga whales in an attempt by Russian scientists to tame the playful creatures, which apparently dislike artificial material – meaning divers wear no clothes. Picture: KNS News
FACING sub-zero temperatures, with no protection from the elements, a female diver frolicks naked with beluga whales in a bizarre experiment designed to tame the shy creatures.
Diver Natalia Avseenko, 36, agreed to participate in the experiment designed by Russian scientists who believe belugas dislike artificial materials such as clothing and diving suits. The average human could die if left in sub-zero temperatures for just five minutes, but amazingly Natalia survived in temperatures of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius for more than ten minutes. Using her skills as a diver and yoga breathing techniques, she was able to stay under the water at Murmansk in Russia for an unbelievable ten minutes and forty seconds. The gamble appears to have paid off with the whales seemingly enjoying the frolicking with Natalia and responding with their famously distinctive range of facial expressions. The whales are being tamed by scientists from the Utrish Dolphinarium on the shores of the White Sea near the Arctic Circle where whales and dolphins are caught in enclosures then tamed before going to zoos around the world.