The photo you see above, titled David and Goliath, is not fake. It has been making the rounds on the internet for several weeks.
Mission Blue recently caught up with the man responsible for the photo, scientist Octavio Aburto, to ask him about the photograph that has quickly become a viral sensation.
In the interview Aburto reveals it took him three years to capture the picture. He explains:
“This picture has been in my mind for three years — I have been trying to capture this image ever since I saw the behavior of these fish and witnessed the incredible tornado that they form during courtship.”
GrindTV further explains that the group of fish in the photo are a predatory species called Jacks and that photo was taken at the Cabo Pulmo National Park, a marine reserve in the Sea of Cortez. The man in the photo is David Castro, a worker at the park whose job is to help enforce park rules.
On the choice to use a park worker in the photo Aburto said:
“He is a divemaster at the Cabo Pulmo Divers shop and is one of the young activists working tirelessly to protect Cabo Pulmo. With his family and friends David is trying to preserve the marine life and show the rest of the world that marine reserves can be a good model for sustainable coastal development.”
Aburto understands why a number of people question the photo’s authenticity, but assures everyone the fish tornado in the photo is real. The behavior exhibited by the Jacks is actually normal courtship behavior and Aburto feels lucky all the elements lined up that day so he could capture it.
It is Aburto’s hope that the photo will help raise awareness for marine conservation and the importance of marine reserves like Cabo Pulmo National Park.