Swiss wildlife photographer Franco Banfi and a team of scuba divers were following a pod of sperm whales off the Coast of Dominica Island in the Caribbean Sea, when suddenly the large creatures became motionless and fell into vertical slumber. The underwater photographer has captured a rare set of photographs which capture a pod of sleeping whales. You’d probably never see before that. But Franco Banfi, caught the superb creatures around 65ft underwater as well as his partner, free diver Sabrina, just off the coast of the Caribbean island Dominica. Almost 40ft long sperm whales, known to be quite social, spend around 7% of their time sleeping and nap vertically for six to 25 minutes in this case it was ten.
Mr Banfi 58, from Cadro, Switzerland, said: This was a group of around ten sperm whales all sleeping together. I don't know why they sleep vertically, perhaps because they can use the sonar they have in their head to sense any danger approaching. I was extremely lucky to see such a memorable moment in nature, and I'm highly thankful the whales trusted me and gave me the opportunity to show up the show. It doesn't happen like that every time you see them. This rare phenomenon was first discovered in 2008, when a team of biologists from the UK and Japan inadvertently drifted into a group of sperm whales floating just below the surface, completely oblivious to their surroundings. The 2008 incident advised that whales might sleep with both sides of the brain turned off.