A boat filled with scientists off the coast of New York had the experience of a lifetime when a massive humpback whale approached the vessel and swam around it for several minutes, and the entire event was caught on camera.
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the Ocean Giants team was about 60 miles off the coast of New York earlier in October conducting research on humpbacks when one of a pair of whales turned the tables and began to observe them instead.
Director of the WCS Ocean Giants team Dr. Howard Rosenbaum described the event as an "awe-inspiring experience."
"To have this encounter with one of the largest animals on the planet right here off New York is amazing and highlights why continuing to protect these leviathans and their important habitats is so important," he said in a news release.
Rosenbaum said he’s been around the world to research whales in the ocean and said this type of experience doesn’t happen too often.
"When this humpback whale came right up to our boat and swam around and hid under it, the whole team was able to have such a unique experience that will inspire our efforts for years to come," he continued.
The WCS said the Ocean Giants team embarks on boat-based trips off the coast of New York usually between the months of May and November, and their research is aimed at collecting needed scientific information to help inform decisions and practices to better protect large whale species.