This Gray Whale Is the Friendliest Whale These Tourists Have Ever Met

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: February 18, 2024

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Stunning drone view of gray whale following boat with tourists
© ilyaska/iStock via Getty Images

There is a strong bond that we feel with our pets which is why we value them so deeply. The National Library of Medicine supports that pets have a direct impact on the mental health of their owners. So, it’s not just the matter of seeing them that brings us joy. But, rather, it is a profound connection that reinforces us emotionally. Don’t miss this amazing interaction these tourists get with a gigantic gray whale in the video above. 

Gray Whales Sighting on Tour

The short YouTube video clip shown just above comes to us from the Adam Ernster Wildlife YouTube channel. This man is dedicated to everything having to do with wildlife and the ocean. His most popular video clips are of killer whales, dolphins, and a gorgeous blue whale. 

Massive Gray Whales Greet Tourists

As the video starts out at the top of this blog post, we see a couple of tourists that are passing by two gray whales up ahead. There is no need for them to enjoy them from afar, as these whales jump on the opportunity to come up close and allow the tourists to see them up close. Elated that these whales, larger than the boat they were in, came up so close, the tourists started to pet them. 

The NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shares that gray whales can grow to be 49 feet in length and weigh up to 90,000 pounds! For reference, this is about as big as the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles! 

Are Gray Whales Friendly?

gray whale popping its head out of the water

The barnacles that are stuck to gray whales do not harm them.

©Mogens Trolle/

Don’t let their massive weight fool you. These mammals are some of the most affectionate whales in the ocean. It’s easy to confuse large animals with aggression and small animals as cute and friendly. But that isn’t always the case. So, don’t judge a book by its cover. 

According to the Ocean Conservancy, gray whales will often curiously come up close to boats to see what is going on and to meet people, as we can see from the video above. “Gray whales also have the reputation of being the friendliest whales in the world.” 

Even one of the TikTok followers commented on the video, “They’re like big water puppies that would totally climb in the boat if they could!” They are often known as the gentle giants of the water. Kind of like elephants are known as the gentle giants on land. Despite their massive size, and being the largest land animal, they are quite friendly. 

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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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