In a fishy recreation of House of the Flying Daggers, these pictures capture the break-neck 75mph speeds of one of the fastest hunts on the planet.
The images, captured by Reinhard Dirscherl, 47, from Germany, freeze in time the amazing techniques used by the planet’s most rapid fish.
Atlantic Sailfish, caught on camera by Reinhard in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, can be seen in large groups darting in and out of schools of favourite prey sardines.
Fast food: The speediest fish on the planet that swim through the ocean at 75mph on the hunt for sardines
The photographer came inches from the sword-nosed hunter as sardines took cover behind him in one raid
A sailfish hunts sardines at break-neck speed off Isla Mujeres off the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
In one picture the photographer comes inches from one of the sword-nosed hunters as sardines took cover behind him in one raid
By grouping together, the sardines look for safety in numbers hoping to thwart the animals trying to pick them off
One picture even shows how he came face-to-face with one of the sword-nosed hunters as sardines took cover behind him during one raid. Every year the sardines migrate along the Yucatan coast attracting predators like sailfish.
As they are attacked from all sides the sardines form defensive bait balls. By grouping together, they look for safety in numbers hoping to thwart the animals trying to pick them off.
And taking even more desperate measures, the sardines even used Reinhard for protection.
Every year the sardines migrate along the Yucatan coast attracting predators like sailfish
As the sardines are attacked from all sides they form defensive bait balls in a bid to save themselves
He said: ‘When the sailfish hunt the sardines, the sardines panic. ‘The sardines will use any means they can to hide, and the only barrier they could create between them and the sailfish was me.
‘Sometimes they surrounded me completely and the Sailfishes circled around.
‘Fortunately they wouldn’t attack while I was there as they were wary of me. If they did then the sword on their nose could do a lot of damage. ‘It was a fantastic experience for me.’