Humpback whale performs incredible leaping breach very close to swimmers
Humpback whales are among the most beautiful creatures on earth.
They are magnificent and awe inspiring to see in the ocean from a boat, but to actually swim with one is a privilege that few people ever experience.
These beautiful whales come to Tonga to mate and to have their calves.
It is believed to be the only place in the world where humpback whales are born.
Humpbacks are famous for their soulful and haunting songs that can be heard for hundreds of miles.
They are equally famous for their breath taking leaps and breaches.
Swimming straight up towards the surface, they breach and come out of the water almost completely, often spinning and landing with an incredible splash.
The sound and the sight of such a magnificent leap is simply jaw-dropping.
Although these breaches are often captured on film as they leave the water, these lucky swimmers were able to witness a whale making its rapid ascent from almost directly beneath them.
The whale rose like an enormous torpedo with a few powerful tail thrusts that propelled its 60 ton body high into the air.
These whales are almost 60 feet long and most of the whale's body left the water.
It spun and dropped, sending a giant splash and wave in all directions.
The whale's breach was captured on video from the start to the finish, both below and above the water.
An opportunity like this is incredibly rare.
Whales don't often perform such a breath taking show beside people in the water.
Able to use their echo location to identify animals and objects all around them, the whales undoubtedly know there are people nearby.
Known for their gentleness, and even their obvious reluctance to harm other animals, these magnificent giants have even been recorded saving humans and small creatures from predators in the water.
Humpback whales are now understood to be one of the most intelligent animals, next to humans.
Their social behavior and their communication are far more complex than we appreciated in the past.
Able to live well beyond 100 years, many of the large whales that we see today have been alive since commercial whaling was a widespread practice around the world.
Sadly, whaling and our effect on the environment brought the humpbacks dangerously close to extinction.
Many humpback whale tours in Tonga help people witness these creatures and their natural behavior in the wild.
It is important to select one that will also respect the whales by avoiding behavior that will cause stress for these animals.
Humpbackswims.com employ only ethical guides and boat captains, making an experience like this unforgettable as well as fair to the whales.