Paddle boarding is the latest craze to hit the world of water sports and millions of people take to lakes, rivers and seas every week to enjoy a calm and relaxing drift through the water. There are plenty of excuses for falling off a paddle board (loss of concentration, a rogue wave) but being pushed off by a whale has got to be up there with the best! In this footage we see an amazing scene where a whale circles a paddle boarder before gently tapping the rear of the board with a huge fin. Incredibly, the paddle boarder is in no danger of falling off and simply continues to float. The aerial footage was captured by Maximiliano Jonas off the coast of Puerto Madryn in Argentina, in August 2021. Since then, it has had almost 4 million views and we are not surprised!
Giants of the Deep
It is a baleen whale and belongs to the Eschrichtiidae family.
Baleen whales do not have teeth. Instead, they have keratin-based plates that grow in rows in the gums of the upper jaw and can be many different colors. They are smooth on the outer edge but have frayed inner edges in which small creatures get trapped as the water filters out.
Slow Moving Southern Right Whales
Southern rights are actually quite easy to spot, even if you are not a whale expert. They move very slowly (much like a paddle board) and this is sadly why they were almost hunted to extinction last century. These majestic creatures are large and stocky – they can grow up to 17 m long and reach 80 – 90 tonnes weight. They are the only large whale that does not have a dorsal fin. In this vid you can clearly see the blunt paddle-like flippers and the broad head which has callosities that form unique patterns.
Their habitat is the southern and sub-antarctic oceans but breeding always takes in warmer temperate waters found around southern Africa, South America and Australia. They tend to live a solitary life, although a second whale can be spotted towards the end of this clip. Perhaps they wanted to play with the paddle boarders too!
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