Humpback Whales Startle Boaters In Close Call

Two Norwegian boaters experienced a dramatic shock when they encountered a pod of humpback whales, which broke the surface of the water dangerously close to their boat.

The two men, Svein Aasjord and Trond Ivarjord, were fishing for herring in a fjord in Troms, northern Norway, when they encountered the pod of whales, according to the Daily Mail. The men recorded the November 8 encounter, along with their shocked reactions as the whales emerged from the water just an arms length from their vessel. As the Telegraph notes, the whales appear to have been hunting a school of fish, which can be seen leaping out of the water in the moments before the humpbacks reveal themselves.

The waters ripple as the whales approach, before the humpbacks emerge from the icy depths of the fjord. The fishermen were startled by the whales’ sudden appearance, laughing at first at the bubbles surrounding their boat. The men were fishing near Kvaloya, which translates to “Whale Island,” when the incident took place, according to UPI.

“I felt very confident afterwards, whales have much more control than I had thought,” Aasjord said. “But it still took time before my pulse was down to normal again.”

Luckily for the startled fishermen, the whales had no interest in investigating them further. The animals moved off, with one humpback extending its flipper through the surface of the water, leaving the area calm once again as they passed.

Last month, several unusual pieces of footage came to light, depicting previously unobserved behaviors in humpback whales. As the Inquisitr reported, a dive team in Mexico was able to capture exceedingly rare video of a humpback whale sleeping. Suspended vertically in the water, the whale floated in place before awakening and rising to the surface to take a breath. Unable to breathe underwater, researchers have determined that humpbacks sleep in an unusual fashion, allowing only half of their brain to rest while remaining semi-conscious, in order to avoid drowning.

Another humpback was photographed breaching off the California coast, seemingly acknowledging tourists on a nearby sightseeing boat, and narrowly missing a low flying bird. Though humpbacks are commonly sighted in Monterey Bay, the photographer who captured the image singled out the whale’s behavior as remarkable.

[Image: Reuters via the Daily Mail]