A photo of a seal and whale “surfing” together has captured the attention of the world. While humpback whale surfing may sound like a funny way of transportation in Australia, it turns out that deadly killer whales may be lurking beneath the surface in cases like this photo.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a video shows killer whales chasing a boat full of fishermen. While some think they may be attacking, others say the orcas may simply be having fun together.
Photographer Robyn Malcolm says she was on a whale watching trip off the New South Wales coast when she took the photo of the seal and whale surfing together. Apparently, the furry creature was using the humpback seal like a surfboard as they glided across the waters.
“At times there was so much going on, you didn’t know which way to point the camera,” Malcolm told Daily Mail Australia. “The seals and dolphins were going crazy on top of the water, then the whales would lunge straight through the middle. I managed to get some great shots of whales feeding, but was surprised to find these photos in amongst them, as I didn’t see it at the time. I don’t think he stayed there for long!”
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Malcolm said at the time the picture of the seal and whale surfing was taken, there many other sea creatures feeding on bait fish, including dolphins, seals, birds, and whales.
“We’d seen some amazing whales coming out of the water, everything was happening so quickly,” Malcom told the Sydney Morning Herald. “And it was when I went back through the photos that I realized I had actually captured the seal on top of the whale.”
NSW National Parks and Wildlife whale expert Geoff Ross said the photo of the seal and whale surfing together was “highly uncommon,” but it is standard behavior for humpback whales to go into a feeding frenzy, which forces fish into very tight bait balls.”
He added, “Anything that makes it easier to catch fish, seals will be involved.”
But it possible that whale surfing can be a means of escaping the jaws of death.
“It’s very very rare, I’ve only heard of one of other occurrence and that was a seal that had climbed up on a whale to escape a killer whale,” he explained. “the seal hopped on the back of the pectoral fins of a humpback whale.”
Hopefully, in this case, the seal was simply taking a breather from all the fish eating, but some people insist Malcom must have photoshopped the image.
“I’m positive, because I don’t know how to use PhotoShop,” she said. “And I do still have it on the camera so I can prove it.”
[Image via Getty Images]