Nature is amazing. So amazing, in fact, that a 1-ton humpback whale calf can go completely airborne when breaching (see: frolicking in) the ocean.
Right off the bat, it’s important to know that humpback whale calves are born 10-feet-long already. In their infantile days, these gentle giants will reach 15 feet or more and weigh up to 1-ton. That’s a big baby.
So when one of these whale-of-a-weans breaches the surface and appears to fly, it’s no small feat. Pun intended.
Such was the case when a frolicking humpback whale calf thrilled Hervey Bay-goers in Australia this past week. With a single swim-led leap, the calf breached the water with such gusto that it went completely airborne – a very rare sight, indeed.
Humpback whale sightings are rare enough for us surface dwellers. This makes Captain Peter Lynch’s stunning photo sequence of the whale calf’s breach all the more incredible. Take a look:
Capt. Lynch captured the feat of nature while piloting his Blue Dolphin Marine Tours vessel. His photos have since gone viral on social media.
“I have seen a calf clear the water before, but I was never lucky enough to be camera-ready because I skipper the vessel at the same time,” Lynch tells USA TODAY’s For The Win Outdoors.
Lynch, owner of the cited tour company, explains that “these photos were taken while I was balancing on one leg at the helm and the other foot controlling the wheel and the throttles.”
Humpbacks are well-known for their incredible breaching capabilities. Adults, however, will not go fully airborne like this calf. Chalk it up to their immense 50-ton+ weight.
These giants of the ocean will still put on marvelous displays, though; ones that tourists will pay big money to see. And when a smaller calf manages to go completely skyward, it’s the viewing of a lifetime.
Baby Humpback Whale Plays Flying Fish for the Day
“Of course the guests loved seeing the calf breach,” Lynch continues for FTW. “Mum also did one big effort but didn’t clear the water like the calf did. “
The good captain says “It was afterwards when showing guests the photos off the camera [that] we realized how much air the calf got.”
Lynch knows his waters, too. Though his Blue Dolphin Marine Tours is named for another popular marine mammal, Australia’s Hervey Bay is one of the world’s premier whale-watching destinations. June to November is primetime humpback whale viewing off the coast of Queensland, and tourists flock from around the globe to see these spectacular behemoths.
Queensland natives are all-in, as well. “Fantastic. We enjoyed our trip on your boat on the 27th July! It was fantastic,” replies resident Maggie A. to Captain Lynch’s photos.
“All the way out is a very difficult picture to get as it doesn’t happen very often and usually only with calves! Outstanding!” lauds Debbie P.
Outstanding, indeed. Nature, Outsider loves you.