Thursday, September 22, 2011

Flipping heck! 50ft-long humpback whales rear up from the sea yards from unsuspecting paddle boarders


Close-up: An awe-struck paddle boarder watches as a 36-tonne Humpback whale rears out of the sea in Nuqui, Colombia

These two paddle boarders were hoping to catch a wave - but they ended up snatching a glimpse of a stunning humpback whale.

The thrill-seekers had paddled out into the ocean at a little known surf spot in Nuqui, Colombia, when their session was interrupted by stirrings in the water.

The 50ft-long sea beasts - the largest-ever creature to have lived on earth - suddenly rose out of the ocean yards from their boards.

Water off a humpback: Leaving a trail of spray from its enormous fins, the whale crashes back down into the water after its gigantic leap

Fortunately the 36-tonne whales are harmless to humans and the surfers kept their cool as the whales leapt up to 40 feet into the air.

The whales played for a few moments, coming up out of the water and crashing down on their backs, before swimming off around the idyllic bay.

Ocean spray: A second humpback appears from the depths at the remote location on the west coast of Colombia where surf photographer Dan Merkel captured the inspiring scenes

Surf photographer, Dan Merkel, 62, had travelled with the surfers to the remote location off the coast of Colombia and captured the astonishing scenes.

Each year from July to October about 2,000 humpback whales are known to swim to the warm waters off Colombia to breed and eventually feed their newborn calves.

source: dailymail

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