3 min read

6 Humpback Whales Burst From The Water Feet Away From Stunned Boaters

<p>YouTube/djnord</p>

Two friends were enjoying a peaceful day of boating along a fjord in Norway last weekend when they had an unbelievably close encounter with some of the largest animals on the planet - six hungry humpback whales.

Lucky for the rest of us, the incredible scene was captured on film.

Trond Ivarsøy and Svein Aasjord told Norwegian news station TV2 that they first spotted the whales in the distance following a school of herring. The pair powered off the vessel to watch them from afar, but they soon had a front row seat.

(YouTube/djnord)

A few moments after the whales disappeared from sight beneath the surface, a flurry of bubbles began to rise up right next to their boat.

"What do you think, is there something going on?" Ivarsøy can be heard asking.

"They may get close," says Aasjord.

Seconds later, the enormous animals burst from the water, scooping up their prey by the mouthful just a few meters from the boat.

(YouTube/djnord)

Ivarsøy and Aasjord were understandably stunned at the incredible encounter, but also impressed that such large animals could be so precise.

In fact, Aasjord was visibly shaken.

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

(YouTube/djnord)

What the pair witnessed that day fits the description of an ingenious cooperative hunting strategy used by humpback whales, called bubble netting. The process involves a group of whales exhaling bubbles in a circle around schools of fish to trap them, at which point they can be gobbled up more easily.

Check out the entire clip below: