Humpback whales are not an uncommon sight along the coastline of Vancouver Island, Canada. But a group of tourists recently got a glimpse at some unusual behaviors.
A massive humpback near Telegraph Cove, on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, put on a “magical” show, slapping its tail repeatedly.
A video shared by Janice Venturina Tamburino on Facebook shows the creature lifting its massive tail, known as its fluke, into the air and slapping it onto the water with a massive splash at least five times. In the background of the video, cameras, laughter and several “wows” can be heard.
“It’s amazing,” someone says in the video.
“This was a magical experience for everybody who went on the whale watching trip,” Tamburino commented on her Sept. 21 post.
Someone in the back of the video explains experts aren’t sure why whales slap their tails. Scientists have hypothesized the behavior could be a way to play, to signal to other whales or a response to a threat.
Facebook users shared their excitement about the encounter.
“What a thrill!” one person commented on the video.
“Heavenly,” another comment said. “So beautiful.”
“Absolutely amazing,” a third commenter wrote.
Telegraph Cove is about 190 miles northwest of Vancouver.