This giant humpback whale gets some serious air and completely clears its whole body above the water.
Scuba diver Craig Capehart and his crew were coasting in the unusually calm waters of the Indian Ocean around Mbotyi in southeastern South Africa on July 8th.
Gliding across the water in what Capehart considers a “rubber duck inflatable boat,” he and his crew set out the day in search of sardine colonies.
It is the annual world famous “South African Sardine Run”, a mass migration of pilchard fish up the east coast of Africa.
Hoping to find dolphins feasting on the sardines, they noticed a large group of humpback whales. They broke out their cameras and watched in awe as the beautiful humpbacks began breaching all around them. They recorded 22 breaches in total.
The breach garnering them the most attention, however, depicts one of the massive humpbacks shooting straight out of the water – the entire whale rising above the ocean’s surface.
It seems that never before has a recording been made of an adult humpback whale leaping entirely out of the water! A very rare event, indeed. Dolphins and even Great White Sharks have been seen flying out of the water, but this is a first for an adult humpback whale!
You can see just how much space is between the whale and the water!
An average adult humpback can range between 40-60ft. long, and can weigh up to 44 tons.
Imagine lifting 88,000 pounds out of the water and having it soar straight through the air.
Quite the splash, huh?
Humpbacks enter their feeding season In June and end around September. They seek colder climates because fish, squid, and krill like to hang out in lower temperatures. With the Southern Hemisphere’s winter in full swing in July, Capehart and his crew were in prime whale-watching conditions.
I sometimes have to remind my northern hemisphere friends that although it is summer in July and blisteringly hot and dry in parts of America and Europe, in South Africa it is exactly the opposite! It is dark, cold, winter now! Did I mention that it is cold?
During mating season (the winter months), the whales travel toward the center of the earth to safely bare their young in warmer waters.
Humpbacks do not have vocal chords and cannot breathe through their mouths. This means their beautiful melodies come straight out of their blowhole.
Listen to a male humpback sing here.
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Source: Craig Capehart