A tour boat of whale watchers in the United Kingdom had a “phenomenal encounter” with an unusually large group of fin whales.
The group witnessed 12 fin whales swimming through Falmouth Bay, according to an Aug. 23 Facebook post from AK Wildlife Cruises Falmouth.
A video shared by the tour agency shows two of the whales swimming with dolphins.
“They were of a variety of ages with the smallest juvenile being approximately 30ft and the largest about 80ft,” the post said. “We were all surprised to see such a number of these colossal animals, some traveling in pairs only metres apart!”
Fin whales are among the largest animals in the world, second to only blue whales, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They live for up to 90 years and can grow to be as long as 85 feet.
The creatures are found worldwide but are often found in deep, offshore waters, the administration said. They typically travel in groups of two to seven.
Social media users shared their excitement about the large pod.
“What an encounter,” one person wrote on Facebook. “So encouraging!”
“What an amazing spectacle,” another person commented.
“What an absolute treat,” a third comment said.
The sighting came just a day after a separate tour with the agency encountered six fin whales exhibiting a range of unique behaviors, an Aug. 22 post said.
A video shows one of the whales “waving and slapping its pectoral fin which is a form of communication between each of the individuals and could be demonstrating an example of one whale letting the others nearby know where there is a good source of food,” according to the post.
The boaters then saw a fin whale feeding and watched as each whale dove into the bay, the agency said.
Falmouth Bay is on the southwest coast of England.