Cuddling with a Predator

The leopard seal is the second largest seal species in the Antarctic, and is one of the most dangerous predators in the area. It’s not surprising, then, that National Geographic Photographer Paul Nicklen was nervous to enter the water with the largest sea leopard he had ever seen. What happened next is incredible.

What Sparks Our Fire: Photographing the natural world, up close and personal.

What do you think of these close and personal shots?