DPG is a comprehensive underwater photography website and community for underwater photographers. Learn underwater photography techniques for popular digital cameras and specialized professional underwater equipment (wide angle, macro, super macro, lighting and work flow). Read latest news, explore travel destinations for underwater photography. Galleries of professional and amateur underwater photography including wrecks, coral reefs, undersea creatures, fashion and surfing photography.
Dive Photo Guide

News

Whale Protects Snorkeler from Shark
By Joseph Tepper, January 9, 2018 @ 11:11 AM (EST)
Source: The Mirror


In an over-whale-ming show of protection, a 50,000-pound humpback whale shielded a snorkeler from a tiger shark.

Biologist Nan Hauser captured the entire scene as it unfolded in the waters off the Cook Islands. Throughout the video, you can see the whale tucking the snorkeler under his pectoral fin and pushing Hauser with his massive head. It wasn’t until later that the biologist realized a tiger shark was shadowing her in the background.

“I’ve spent 28 years underwater with whales, and have never had a whale so tactile and so insistent on putting me on his head, or belly, or back, or, most of all, trying to tuck me under his huge pectoral fin,” Hauser told The Mirror.
 


Altruistic and protective behavior from whales to other species is well documented. Marine biologist Robert Pitman has spent years studying how and why humpbacks protect seals, sea lions, and porpoises from “killer” whales. Check out DPG's interview with Pitman about the role underwater photography plays in NOAA’s marine mammal research.

Theories behind the behavior include revenge against orcas for having previously killed young humpback whales. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with this incredible incident in the Cook Islands. Could the simplest explanation be that the whales feel an inherent duty to protect their fellow mammals?

“They truly display altruism,” Hauser said. “Sometimes at the risk of losing their own lives.”

RELATED ARTICLES

RELATED PRODUCTS

Fantasea FG7X II
Ikelite Housing for Nikon D500
I-DiveSite Venom 35s
SeaLife DC2000
Be the first to add a comment to this article.
You must be logged in to comment.
Support Our Sponsors
Newsletter
Travel with us

Featured Photographer



Follow Us

Sponsors