Two stoic kayakers in Argentina recently saw — and filmed — their whale-watching trip become a human-watching trip for a group of curious southern right whales. And just like people, some whales apparently can't resist the urge to pick up smaller wildlife for a closer look.
The encounter took place near Puerto Madryn, a coastal city in Argentine Patagonia known for its whales, dolphins, penguins and other marine life. The kayakers reportedly noticed a pod of southern right whales and began paddling closer, only to find themselves suddenly surrounded by enormous mammals that can reach 50 feet long and weigh up to 120,000 pounds as adults.
It should be noted, of course, that approaching whales is rarely a good idea — especially when you're in deep water, protected by just a plastic boat and oars. Not only is this often illegal, but it can also be dangerous. While these whales seem benevolent, even a flinch could be fatal when they're under your kayak. Just imagine what they might do if they ever learn why we call them "right whales."
This interaction went smoothly, though, and it's hard not to enjoy such goodwill between our species. As long as we don't go overboard — figuratively or literally — watching wild whales and dolphins in their natural environment beats hunting them or watching them swim in tanks.
Related cetacean stories on MNN:
- Are seagulls killing whales in Argentina?
- False killer whales 'talk' to a GoPro camera
- See dozens of wild dolphins surfing together