There are many incredible animals in our world, and a good bit of them live in the ocean. Scientists are always studying these animals to learn more about them, but it seems like they are all just full of surprises.
Whales are some of the biggest and most impressive animals in the world.
Very few people get to see one up close, and those who do are changed forever. Sometimes, people get lucky, and instead of searching for whales themselves, they just wait until the whales find them.
One man recently had an unexpected encounter with a whale. While it scared him at the time, he is now thankful for it. He was simply kayaking along when he noticed something huge was nearby. He realized it was a whale, and for a second, he got scared. Then, he grabbed his camera and caught the amazing moment on video. He said:
“Thankfully, I had my phone ready as can be seen in the video as he maneuvered sideways through the water right in front of me in my kayak. My heart was definitely pounding!”
He isn’t the only person to have experienced something like this.
A couple named Andrew and Sarah had a similar experience. They were kayaking together when a whale decided to swim up next to them. They were amazed, and the whale continued to swim close to them as they kayaked back to shore. Eventually, it swam off. Cara said:
“What an amazing morning – humpbacks came for breakfast! We’ve never seen them this close to the lodge before, and so fantastic to see them bubble netting. Nearly as good as the whales was the reaction of our guide, who was pretty excited! The guests didn’t mind being woken up for this.”
It’s incredible to see whales getting so close to people. It is likely that they are just curious about them or their kayaks. Still, there have been reports of whales actually saving humans.
Last year, a whale saved a snorkeler from a shark.
Nan, a biologist who studies whales, explained:
“I tried to get away from him for fear that if he rammed me too hard, or hit me with his flippers or tail, that would break my bones and rupture my organs. If he held me under his pectoral fin, I would have drowned. I didn’t want to panic, because I knew that he would pick up on my fear. I stayed calm to a point but was sure that it was most likely going to be a deadly encounter. I feel a very close kinship with animals, so despite my trepidation, I tried to stay calm and figure out how to get away from him.”
She knew she had to keep a close eye on the shark, and she wanted to make sure it wasn’t swimming off just to come back and surprise her.
She was surprised when the whale started trying to save her.
“I never took my eyes off him, which is why I didn’t see the shark right away. I never touch the whales that I study unless they are sick or stranded on the beach. In my head, I was a bit amused since I write Rules and Regulations about whale harassment – and here I was being harassed by a whale.”
Her story isn’t unique, either.
She claims there have been plenty of documented cases where whales have put themselves between humans and sharks and even saved other animals from sharks. She explained:
“There is a published scientific paper about humpbacks protecting other species of animals, by Robert Pitman. For instance, they hide seals under their pectoral fins to protect them from killer whales. They truly display altruism – sometimes at the risk of losing their own lives.”
Still, it’s never a good idea to go swimming with whales or to try to physically interact with them.
While they may be curious about kayakers and even attempt to save divers from sharks, whales are wild animals, and if they feel threatened, they could turn aggressive.
Nobody wants an animal that weighs thousands of pounds angry with them. It’s best to just enjoy these amazing animals from a distance. Maybe, you will be lucky enough to be kayaking in the ocean one day and have one swim up close enough for you to see it.
Watch the close encounter below.
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