Cayman Islands, Caribbean
These stingrays have become quite accustomed to people seeking a close encounter with them. Aware that we would not hurt them, their guard is down and I can tell even by their body language that they are very comfortable around us. Diving around stingrays in unpopulated areas I could see a stark contrast in the distance they keep from me with the way they wearily glide in the water. This tells me they don’t know what I am and don’t want to find out.
However upon arrival in sting ray city a floating gelatinous pancake of a stingray gingerly glides towards me, instantly smooshing into my body with it’s soft underbelly in hopes of sucking a squid out of my hand. Their small poisonous barb used for defence is in the lowered position, where I can even run my hand across it without incident. These stingrays would circle around me, brush up against me and even seemed to enjoy its encounter and free meal.
I used the same techniques that are further outlined in this post: http://www.kylefoto.com/2011/07/antarctic-underwater-iceberg/