Whale Materializes from Nowhere in Incredibly Photogenic Leap

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: October 20, 2023
Share on:

Watch What Happened on This Tour

Humpback Whale Behavior and Communication

The humpback whale is recognized for its notable knobby head, as well as its breathtaking breaches and tail flukes. It can completely propel its massive body out of the water like an animated gymnast.

Adult humpbacks emerge every seven to fifteen minutes on average. Every three to five minutes, calves must swim to the surface to breathe. To propel themselves out of the water, humpback whales use the robust fluke, their tail fin. Additionally, humpback whales appear to breach more often than many other whale species. 

Heaviest Animals: Whales

The loud splash at breaching may be the humpback whale’s attempt to communicate long distance.

©Claude Huot/Shutterstock.com

Right after giving birth, mother humpback whales raise their newborn calves to the surface so they may take their first breaths. All of the slappings are thought to produce sounds that are used to communicate with other whales, and the large splashes are thought to be employed for long-distance communication. 

Because sound travels faster and further underwater than it does on land, it would be possible for whales to speak with one another.

The Whale and the Tour Boat

Maasai Sightings is a YouTube channel that takes a trip on a sightseeing boat tour. A pod of humpbacks was swimming in the distance, leaving tourists in awe of these giant animals. Little did these people know how close their encounter would quickly become. As they continue to watch the animals, the whales seamlessly glide underwater, hiding from the naked eye. 

At the 1:58 minute mark in the footage, something astounding happens. Out of nowhere, one of the baby humpback whales shoots out of the water, just feet from the boat! The splash from the whale soaks the visitors, and they can’t believe what they just experienced. 

Once the calf slips back under the surface, the tourists spot it on the other side of the boat. The whales swimming so close to the boat enable them to sense the humming sensations of the vessel. It likely reinforces their approaching behavior, even getting close enough to be pet by those onboard. 

Right after humpback whales give birth, the mother takes her baby to the surface for its first breath.

©Imagine Earth Photography/Shutterstock.com

Every cetacean touches and rubs its siblings from birth on, which is thought to encourage social bonding and strengthen camaraderie. For all we know, these whales could see the boat as a potential friend. It is important to note that vessels can be quite dangerous to marine life. 

Several whales have breached the surface of the water, only to land directly on a ship and gravely injure themselves and those on board. If you’re in a boat with whales nearby, it’s best to put the vehicle in neutral until the whale clears the area. This should keep you, the boat, and the animals below safe and sound. 

One of our favorite comments from the video reads, “For an animal to be that massive and can jump out of the water and come into full view says a lot about the strength of this creature.” What would you do if you were on a sightseeing tour and a humpback whale jumped out of the water so close to you? It would truly make for one unforgettable story. 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Martin Prochazkacz/Shutterstock.com

Share on:
About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.