Interesting Photo of the Day: Humpback Whales Breaching

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a … whale? This humpback whale calf takes breaching to a whole new level. Completely clearing the water, it appears to fly in the air, fins spread out. Adult humpback whales weigh about 80,000 pounds (36,000 kg) and measure an average of 39 to 52 feet in length (12-16 metres), and even calves weigh two tons and are 20 feet at birth, so that’s a pretty powerful animal.

humpback whale breaching

Humpback whale breaching (via imgur)

Captured by Matthew Thornton, this photo was a National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest entry. It was taken off the coast of Tofino, British Columbia.

For another frighteningly close encounter with humpback whales that was recently featured on national and global news, check out this shocking video, which depicts a pair of divers almost becoming lunch for two huge, hungry whales:

The divers found themselves unexpectedly in the way of the whales as they were feeding on a school of small fish; one of the divers appears to be only two or three feet away. There has been some discussion about whether the diver would have been all right if he had ended up inside the whale’s mouth. The conclusion was that the whale probably couldn’t have swallowed him due to the size of its esophagus, but it might have had trouble “spitting” him out. It is likely the diver would have been partially trapped in the whale’s mouth until he drowned. Close calls like this are rare, so the video has internet commenters speculating about the “what ifs,” had the situation had a less happy ending.

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3 responses to “Interesting Photo of the Day: Humpback Whales Breaching”

  1. Hatem Kotb says:

    Wow, that was a pretty awesome experience!! :D

  2. Rod Collier says:

    Isn’t it a pity you promote idiotic behavior like this, Boats are required to keep 100m away from whales and these idiots are swimming in the middle of a feeding area. Pity the whales didn’t sink the boat there may have been a few less idiots in the world

  3. helen taplin says:

    I agree with rod. Senseless, selfish and stupid to invade the whales space this closely.

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