Video Shows Massive Humpback Whale Breaching Feet Away From Kayakers
"They're coming right toward us!"
In thrilling video footage, two Canadian kayakers captured a gigantic humpback whale leaping out of the water, mere feet from their boat, not just once but three times. The up-close-and-personal Wild Kingdom outtake has gone viral on social media since it was posted earlier this month. Read on to find out what the kayakers saw and just how close it got to being too close.
A 45-year-old Canadian man named Ryan was kayaking with his 19-year-old son, Aidan, and their Australian Shepherd, Shelby, in Desolation Sound in the Discovery Islands when they heard the distinctive sound of a humpback whale. Ryan pulled out his camera and started filming, hoping to catch a glimpse of the animal if it made itself apparent. But what surfaced was likely beyond his imagination. Keep reading to see the video.
A huge humpback whale arced out of the water, just feet from their boat, and powerfully re-entered the water with an reverberating splash. "They're coming right toward us!" Ryan observed, ordering his excited pup to stay, while his son asked if they should back up. They didn't, and they were treated to the giant creature dipping back up and returning beneath the surface twice more, then blowing up a stream of water, as if it were putting on a show for the camera.
"We were so shocked and initially just so relieved that we didn't get crushed and that we were safe," said Ryan. "Then we were just in awe and so grateful to be that close to such a magnificent creature."
Humpback whales are some of the largest forms of marine life—the largest are about 55 feet long, 18 feet wide, and weigh nearly 40 tons. Although humpbacks live in oceans throughout the world, the US considers several of their types to be endangered species. Commercial whaling depleted the population by 95 percent, and a 1985 ban on that industry has led to a resurgence.
Other close calls with humpback whales have gone viral. In 2016, a pair of kayakers got shockingly close to a humpback at Spanish Banks beach in Vancouver. This was no accident, however: The pair went looking for a whale they'd been keeping an eye on for days. It surfaced just feet away from their kayaks; luckily the video was rolling and made it to Instagram. "I would have probably peed my kayak, I would have been that scared," a marine mammal research biologist with the Vancouver Aquarium told CBC News, discouraging others from getting so close to the giant creatures. "When I'm watching that video, I'm just waiting for the tail to hit his kayak because that is far too close to be in a kayak."