27-year-old Rava Ray, also known as the “Stingray Queen” grew up on the small Pacific Island Mo’orea, where she says she learned to “share the ware” with sharks, whales, turtles, and dolphins.
The Tahitian model has garnered thousands of fans on her Instagram by posing for snaps whilst swimming completely naked with the deadly sea creatures.
She describes feeling “starstruck” after diving with a tiger shark for the first time and encourages anyone frightened of the marine wildlife to join them in the water and face their fears.
“If I could help them change their perspective, I’d tell them to go experience the creatures themselves instead of relying on the things they’ve heard or seen in the movies.”
Rava insists she’s never felt anxious near dangerous animals like stingrays, and believes no animal’s first instinct is to attack a human.
“I don’t think I’ve ever posed a threat to an animal or been in a situation where I would have been attacked,” she says.
Although in her risky (and risqué) poses, Rava has been bitten by a stingray, although she puts it down to a “total accident”, like when humans “accidentally scratch with a fingernail”.
Rava describes her underwater modeling as “magical”, trusting only three photographers to snap her cavorting naked with stingrays.
“With whales in particular, there are things the pictures can’t capture — like what they sounds like and what they move like.”
She describes being naked in the water as “timeless” and prefers to dive naked so as to avoid promoting a particular brand’s bikini.
“Beauty is about being vulnerable,” says Rava.
You can keep up with Rava’s underwater exploits on Instagram.