A couple of divers were swimming off of the coast of Hawaii when something so rare happened. They were swimming close to a group of humpback whales and were just meters away from one – weighing 79,366 lbs – when it extended its giant flipper in a peaceful manner.
The female whale, the one with the white belly, extended her fin out to shake hands (or give the diver a high-five). She was just as intrigued with the human as the diver was with her. She continued to swim with him and was calm and gentle with him.
This whale is ginormous. She is about the length of a double-decker bus, a little intimidating if I do say so myself. But she was very happy to be swimming with the divers. The male whales were a little more aggressive because they were fighting for the attention of female whale.
But they still allowed the divers to get close and swim up next to them.
Photographer Masa Ushioda, from Tokyo, Japan, moved to Hona, Hawaii, and took the pictures of the underwater meeting near his new home.
Mr. Ushioda, 43, said: ‘This particular female humpback whale – with the white belly – was extremely friendly and very curious about us humans. She extended her pectoral fins to us repeatedly and sought for physical contact. Other male whales around her were dangerous as they were fighting each other to gain access to this white bellied female.”
Mr Ushioda added: ‘The female whale was exceptional – there are many friendly whales, but they don’t often come in for physical contact – this made it extra special. You can tell in the photographs how friendly she is, she’s just posing for me in every picture. The female whale was showing off her spectacular ballet dancing along the way.”
However, one of the whales stunned the pair when it decided to blow bubbles – and it ‘sounded like a bomb’. It was apparently a bid to tell males nearby to back off. What an amazing adventure, I am jealous of what these divers got to experience. Would you swim that close to whales?