See These Beautiful Orcas Doing Backflips Close To Shore

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: November 28, 2023

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Side view of a transient orca breaching during a sea lion hunt
© Cavan-Images/

There are few things more adorable than watching a dog run around the yard and turn on its back for belly rubs, watching the fluffiest kitten hop up on the refrigerator, or the most adorable chipmunk stuff its face with nuts. 

However, not just the tiny animals amaze us with what they can do. Sometimes, massive animals, such as the orca weighing up to 15,000 pounds, can do incredible things with their bodies that we might not have thought possible. So, don’t miss the action in the video above before reading.

Orca Sighting in Washington

The short YouTube clip posted at the top of this blog post takes us to Commencement Bay in the beautiful state of Washington, where killer whales come out to play. 

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As the video starts, we see the gorgeous view that this bay has to offer us. There are a few dozen seals that are coming up on shore. And it doesn’t take long before we notice why they are coming in drones. These seals are being hunted by orcas, commonly known as killer whales

It’s difficult to imagine these large whales being “killers” because they suddenly start doing backflips! They leap out of the water and then fall back on their backs. And weighing anywhere from 6,000 to 15,000 pounds makes us amazed they can do this easily. 

The Dolphin Safari organization says, “Whales breach and jump out of the water for many reasons, but one main reason is that whales can jump to make an extra loud sound effect.” 

Perhaps this is why their prey was scurrying so quickly to shore. But it’s almost as if they know they are being filmed. And if they are being filmed for the world to see, they might as well put on a good show. 

How Many Killer Whales Live in Washington?

Killer whales (Orcinus orca) of the family Delphinidae are found in every ocean. Because of this, it might be easy to assume that these breathtaking whales have an abundant population. However, this sadly is not the case. 

There are only estimated to be approximately 50,000 killer whales left, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And out of these 50,000, there are only 75 that are left. There was a decline in 1995 from 98 whales down to 73 whales. Between 2022 and 2023, there has been an increase to 75 killer whales in Washington. 

So, catching sight of these orcas doing backflips is a beautiful thing to experience. There may come a day when these endangered species become extinct.

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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