Whale watching can often be fruitless, hours drifting out at sea with nothing to show for it! But this film crew got more than they bargained for during a recent boat trip!
Now they’re sharing the footage for the world to see and we’re so glad they did! They didn’t just see a whale swimming near the ship, they saw a full breach (where the whale jumps completely out of the water) occur just feet from their cameras.
The film crew that included four scuba divers was floating off the shore of Mbotyi in Pondoland, Eastern Cape province, South Africa, in a small inflatable boat. The seas were surprisingly calm the day they were blessed to see the whale in a full breach in the Indian Ocean.
They were hoping to catch impressive and intriguing marine wildlife in action during the world famous South African Sardine Run where pilchard fish pile up in a mass migration along the east coast of Africa. Dolphins, birds and sharks will swoop into the long line of sardines to snack on them.
That’s when a humpback whale mother cow swimming nearby with a calf decided to make herself know. Weighing in at 40 tons, she slaps her fins on the water then leaps completely up into the air.
She splashes back down and sprays water everywhere. According to AOL, the reason for breaching is actually to get attention!
A marine biologist explained, “If there’s a lot of noise, it might be easy to drown out,” he said. Who knew whales preferred the spotlight?
“Leaping up in the air and splashing down is equivalent to the really keen kid in a classroom jumping up and down waving his arms.”
The sound of their body slapping against the water causes other marine life to perk up and pay attention.While it’s incredibly rare to see a whale in full breach, this cameraman was able to capture just that!
The scuba divers disclosed that such a recording of a whale in full breach has never before been caught on film. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and now we all have the chance to see it unfold in front of us!