Unaware Tourists Get Shocked for a Lifetime as Whale Surprises Them From Behind

A group of unsuspecting whale watchers almost missed an unforgettable encounter when a sly humpback whale surfaced right behind their boat as they looked the other way.

The tourists were poised with their cameras, eagerly waiting for a glimpse of the majestic creatures, but they were facing the wrong direction as the whale appeared just a few feet away.

Luckily, the sightseers turned around just in time to see the enormous humpback before it vanished back into the ocean’s depths.

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Photos taken from another vessel show the stealthy whale poking its rostrum out from beneath the water as the group faces forward, pointing their cameras at the open ocean ahead of them in anticipation (pictured).
But before the creature could disappear into the sea again, the whale watchers spotted her at the last second, with a second photograph showing their jubilation at the close encounter (pictured).
Fortunately, the sightseers turned around in their boat just in the nick of time to spot the huge humpback whale a matter of feet away from them before she disappeared back under the water.

Their reactions, captured in photographs taken from another boat, ranged from jubilation to astonishment.

One woman threw her arms in the air to celebrate, while others sat open-mouthed in surprise, snapping photos of the incredible moment.

This near-miss was captured by director and photographer Eric J Smith during a trip to San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja California Peninsula, Mexico.

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The whale watchers’ near-miss was captured by director and photographer Eric J Smith during a trip to San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja California Peninsula, Mexico.
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Pictured: Two boats of whale watchers have a close encounter with a sperm whale off the coast of Baja, Mexico.
Smith, a 49-year-old from Los Angeles, said the whale ‘slowly and silently stuck her head high above the water to look around. I was in another panga a few dozen feet away and caught the moment right before everyone realized she was so close.’

The 49-year-old Los Angeles resident described the scene: “She slowly and silently stuck her head high above the water to look around. I was in another panga a few dozen feet away and caught the moment right before everyone realized she was so close.”

Pictured: A close-up of a humpback whale off the coast of Mexico. The species are found in oceans all over the world and typically migrate up to 16,000 miles. They are known for breaching the surface, making them popular among whale watchers.
Like other large whales, humpbacks were once the target of the whaling industry, which nearly hunted them until extinction. A worldwide moratorium in 1966 outlawed hunting, and their numbers have partially recovered since.
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Pictured: One of the whale watchers pats a humpback whale from a sightseeing boat off the coast of Mexico.

As the tourists turned around, the whale quickly sank below the surface, sparking cheers and laughter among the group. Smith emphasized the importance of staying alert when photographing whales: “Whale photography involves a lot of luck, but the key is to always be on alert and ready.

On a whale-watching voyage, it is easy to get complacent because there is a lot of waiting. It seems like the moment you let your guard down, a spectacular breach occurs.”

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