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Watch Kayaker’s Close Encounter With Surfacing Humpback Whale

<p>Flickr, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/">mikebaird</a></p>

One Norwegian kayaker got up close to a humpback whale in the wild -- maybe a little too close. While on a trip to the island of Senja in Norway, Berthold Hinrichs nearly collided with the 20-ton animal and, lucky for us, caught it all on tape.

Humpback whales surface to breathe about every seven to 15 minutes, but they can also spend time hanging out at the surface for long periods. Luckily for this kayaker, the whale wasn't breaching -- a behavior in which the whale leaps out of the water and comes falling back down with a loud smack.

Here are a few other memorable close encounters that took place recently:

One kayaker was surprised by a curious sea lion, who hopped up on his boat in the water off Los Angeles in 2007:

In this encounter, an unsuspecting diver was shocked to find a sea lion pup hanging out on his raft when he surfaced last year:

And, finally, a California boater provided a resting spot for a tired sea lion pup last June: