See a Giant Sperm Whale Swim Within Inches of an a Submarine

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Written by Chris Madden

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Sperm whale underwater swimming towards you
© Thierry Eidenweil/

Massive Sperm Whale Investigates an Underwater Operation!

The incredible video below takes place in the depths of the ocean, where a spectacle unfolds as an underwater remote-controlled submarine takes center stage. Bathed in its own luminance, the submarine maneuvers with precision. Its mechanical arm grapples with an unknown object connected to a long cable. Amid the obsidian abyss of the ocean, the scene is illuminated solely by the submarine’s glow.

Suddenly, a breathtaking twist occurs. Just as the submarine adeptly frees the cantilever keeping the cable attached, a colossal presence materializes into view—a massive sperm whale. Commanding the frame, the whale positions itself between the submarine and the now untethered structure. It exhibits curiosity in the face of the submarine’s light in an environment where even sunlight doesn’t shine.

The proximity of the titanic creature to the submarine intensifies the scene, making the whale appear larger than life. One organic being and one mechanical being lock in a silent aquatic standoff.

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Sperm Whale Teeth - Sperm Whale in Ocean

Sperm whales are the largest toothed whale, possessing hard, pointed teeth as opposed to the

baleen of their filter-feeder cousins!


With a calculated retreat, the submarine yields ground. It pivots to gain a fuller perspective of the behemoth that now graces its presence. The colossal whale’s immense form is juxtaposed against the abyssal backdrop. Then it leisurely repositions itself, reassured that the artificial radiance holds no allure. Finally, the leviathan silently slips away into the inky unknown. It seamlessly melds with the pitch-black depths from which it emerged.

A moment of eerie allure and spine-tingling fascination, this video provides a tantalizing glimpse into the otherworldly realm inhabited by some of Earth’s most incredible inhabitants.

How Big Are Sperm Whales?

Sperm whale breaching off the coast of Pico Island, The Azores, Portugal.

Sperm whale breaching off the coast of Pico Island, The Azores, Portugal.


One of the greatest beasts of the seas, sperm whales are incredibly large! In fact, you will not find a toothed whale that rivals their size, which makes them the biggest animal with teeth on earth!

Sperm whales generally reach up to sixty feet long for males. Their female counterparts do not grow to be quite so large, just a few feet less than forty. However, the largest recorded sperm whale reached an incredible length of seventy-nine feet!

If you think that is big, the heads of these massive animals contribute to about one-third of their overall length. Within that space, sperm whales have the largest brains in the animal kingdom!

When it comes to weight, these whales are indeed massive. A typical male sperm whale tops the scales around 90,000 pounds! With their weight and length, sperm whales can be heavier and longer than a semi-truck trailer fully loaded.

Why Do Sperm Whales Swim So Deep Into the Ocean?

Distinguished by their unparalleled deep-diving prowess, sperm whales plumb the ocean’s depths with a purpose that sets them apart from other whale species. The impetus behind their remarkable journeys into the abyss lies primarily in their pursuit of sustenance.

Unlike many other whales that predominantly feed closer to the surface, sperm whales venture into the murky depths to hunt down their preferred prey: giant squid. These elusive cephalopods thrive in the obscurity of the deep sea, beyond the reach of sunlight.

Giant Squid, Black Background, Calamari, Squid, Tentacle

Giant Squid serve as an extremely valuable food source to Sperm Whales, but they inhabitat very deep waters, forcing the Sperm Whale to dive deep to hunt.


Through their powerful dives that can surpass 3,000 meters, sperm whales gain access to this bountiful, hidden food source. Additionally, this distinctive feeding strategy is supported by their unique physical adaptations, including a large head housing a spermaceti organ that helps them regulate buoyancy and navigate the extreme pressures of the deep.

This divergence in hunting tactics highlights the sperm whale’s exceptional ecological niche and its unparalleled mastery of the ocean’s least-explored realms.

How Have Humans Interacted With Sperm Whales Throughout History?

Throughout history, the relationship between sperm whales and human society has been multifaceted and impactful. Historically, these leviathans held immense significance for various cultures. People sought their valuable spermaceti oil, which had uses in lighting, lubrication, and cosmetics. Sperm whales became a focal point of the whaling industry. So this demand led to extensive hunting that had profound ecological consequences. Ultimately, it decimated their populations.

Eventually transitioning into the modern era, perceptions shifted. Increased understanding of their intelligence and complex social structures sparked a conservation movement. In 1986, the International Whaling Commission imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling. It offered protection to these majestic creatures. Today, these remarkable creatures continue to captivate researchers. They inspire studies on communication, behavior, and ecological roles.

The history of sperm whales and human interaction showcases a trajectory. It goes from exploitation to reverence. This evolution highlights broader changes in societal values. It also emphasizes our growing awareness of the delicate balance between humanity and the natural world.

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About the Author

Chris is a lifelong animal lover with a passion for writing and a natural tendency to explore the internet in pursuit of new wildlife and nature facts! He is completing his Bachelors in Political Science at Concordia University in the Spring of 2024 after a science-centric high school career. Aside from studying and writing for A-Z Animals, he has a budding music career and enjoy spending time outside year-round, from swimming to skiing!

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