The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 m (39–52 ft) and weigh about 36,000 kg (79,000 lb). The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is known for breaching and other distinctive surface behaviors, making it popular with whale watchers. Males produce a complex song lasting 10 to 20 minutes, which they repeat for hours at a time. Its purpose is not clear, though it may have a role in mating.
Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 km (16,000 mi) each year. Humpbacks feed in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or subtropical waters to breed and give birth when they fast and live off their fat reserves. Their diet consists mostly of krill and small fish. Humpbacks have a diverse repertoire of feeding methods, including the bubble net technique.
The footage was shot in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mbotyi by Craig Capehart, a scuba diver who was sitting in a “rubber duck” inflatable boat when the graceful giant decided to make an appearance.
“It seems that never before has a recording been made of an adult humpback whale leaping entirely out of the water! A very rare event, indeed,” wrote Craig in the caption accompanying the video. “Dolphins and even Great White Sharks have been seen flying out of the water, but this is a first for an adult humpback whale!”