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Beneath the Waves in Sumatra

Photographer JOHN BARTON captured this magical undersea moment off the coast of the Mentawai Islands.

Published on Jan 16, 2019


Beneath the Waves in Sumatra

Sunset through a stained glass window of ocean waves. A lone surfer glides across a shallow reef pass in the Mentawai Islands off the west coast of Sumatra. The chain, long popular with experienced surfers, offers some of the best breaks in the world, but is now also attracting hikers who explore on dry land. Not to worry; crowding is still no problem on or off the water. These 70-odd isles are notable for their traditional, semi-nomadic communities and the endemic, many rare, species of flora and fauna. —JOHN BARTON


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