Unsettling images of an underwater whale cemetery have gone viral online. According to a Newsweek story, the photos were taken by Swedish photographer Alex Dawson, who took first place in the broad angle category of the Scuba Diving 2022 Underwater Photo Contest.
On Wednesday, Mr. Dawson posted a few images of the whale graveyard he had discovered on Twitter. He stated, “I’m thrilled that Scuba Diving Magazine chose my image as a winner of 2022 in the wide-angle category,” along with the photos he shared.
“Another artwork was given an honorable mention as a final point. And a heartfelt thanks for winning the first prize in 2023 aboard the opulent Red Sea Aggressor III, “Mr. Dawson continued writing.
According to Mr. Dawson, “When I take pictures, I want to evoke the sensation of “I wish I were there.” That is my adage.”
In the photo, Mr. Dawson and his companion Anna Von Boetticher are seen in Greenland’s Tasiilaq Bay under three feet of packed ice. Newsweek said the team had to swim through over 20 whale carcasses to get the winning picture.
Since being shared, the post has accumulated over 43,000 likes and over 6,000 retweets. Many users have applauded and thanked the photographer for taking such a great picture in the post’s comment area.
Wow, these are great, one person said.
“Award and more than deserved recognition,” said another. Congratulations!!”
Locals refer to the harbor of Tasiilaq as flenseplassen, which roughly translates to “skinning grounds,” according to Newsweek. The local Inuit hunters collect the whale corpses and reduce them to their skeletal remains. During high tide, they pull the leftover debris back into the water.
Mr. Dawson said, “Normally, you need a submersible to view whale bones like these.” In contrast, they are just 15 to 20 feet below the surface and hardly touched in Greenland.
He swam beneath the ice for over an hour to acquire the photo, switching breathing devices as his breath froze in their valves. He said to Newsweek after the dive, “Cold doesn’t give me any fear.”