In this video, tourists come across a rare sight of a drifting oceanic mammal with its back end bobbing out of the water. What is the creature doing?
As these holidaymakers in north Queensland were sailing toward the Great Barrier Reef on their boat, they spotted a rare and peculiar sight.
“It was a bit choppy you know and I came over a wave and the lady in the boat was like ‘oh my God,’” said Bryce Murtagh, the captain of the boat, according to MailOnline.
Murtagh and his two passengers were surprised to notice something bulging out of the water off Mission Beach.
Upon a closer look, they saw a huge four-meter-wide (approx. 13-foot) tail protruding out of the water.
“It looks like a humpback with its tail up in the air, playing or something. Not sure what he’s up to but he’s showing us his tail,” Murtagh says in the video.
Why was the 30-tonne humpback whale sticking its enormous tail out of the water? It turns out the whale was just taking its well-deserved nap.
Unlike fish, which use their gills to get oxygen, whales extract oxygen by breathing air through a single blowhole on top of their heads, and they must always be conscious of their breathing. These aquatic mammals need to come to the surface to get their oxygen; hence, sleeping vertically allows the whales to easily return to the surface of the ocean.
“I take tourists out to the reef snorkeling and scuba diving but I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. So what an experience,” Murtagh said.
Video credit: YouTube | Caters Clips.