A crew of researchers was exploring near Hawaii when the team spotted a trio of sea creatures in the distance: They were Cuvier’s beaked whales.
The group was “first seen breaching and taillobbing in the distance,” the Cascadia Research Collective experts said in a Nov. 2 blog post. As the boat approached the group, one of the whales swam close to the boat during the “exciting encounter.”
“One individual in the group, a juvenile, was very curious about the boat,” the researchers wrote in a Facebook post.
Drone footage shows the creature swimming straight toward the boat off Kona along the western coast of the island of Hawaii.
A separate clip shows another of the whales — an adult male who researchers have identified 10 times since 2006 — preparing to take a long dive, the post said.
“Just before they go on a long dive, which can last 1-2 hours, they often lunge high out of the water,” the researchers wrote in their post.
Cuvier’s beaked whales are sometimes referred to as “goose-beaked whales,” and they can grow to be up to 15 feet to 23 feet long and 4,000 pounds to 6,800 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They are covered in white marks and small scars from cookie-cutter sharks and lampreys.