Humpback whale breaches, shocks kayakers
A humpback whale emerges too close to kayakers from the waters off Moss Landing Harbour in California. This image is owned by Sanctuary Cruises. Screencap from a video owned by Sanctuary Cruises

A video of a large humpback whale launching itself too close to kayaking tourists in California has gone viral on YouTube. (Watch the video below.)

A man and a woman were knocked out of their kayak when a humpback whale suddenly breached and launched itself too close to them this past weekend, off Moss Landing Harbour. The resulting waves from the humpback’s motion toppled the kayak over in a quick moment that shocked many. The two tourists were part of a group of kayakers on a whale tour.

“On our 08:00 am Sanctuary Cruises whale tour, just outside the harbour in Moss Landing, two kayakers on a tandem kayak were almost crushed to death by a massive, near full-size humpback whale,” reads the video description on YouTube.

The humpback whale video, shot by Sanctuary Cruises passenger Larry Plants, has drawn in over a million views barely three days after it was posted. Major news channels have also shown the same clip in primetime broadcasts, with news anchors saying they will not be going kayaking again.

"A large aggregation of humpbacks (were) feeding. There were also a lot of kayakers right in the middle of it all. The next thing we knew, this [almost full-size humpback whale] launched right on top of these two kayakers. It was very scary to watch," Captain Michael Sack told KSBW.

The humpback viral video shows a stark contrast between the size of the duo’s kayak and the humpback itself. Commenters are expressing mixed reactions. One YouTube user wrote the clip is “another example [of] foolish people trying to commune with nature.”

“(It) looks to me like the whale saw them at the last moment and managed to turn its body to avoid hitting them directly,” another YouTube commenter said. Watch the most recent humpback whale video here:

Humpback whale video shocks kayakers (Sanctuary Cruises on YouTube)

Humpback whales belong to the same mammal family as the blue whales and the fin whales. They are found everywhere in the world, attracting tourists and adventurers. They can grow up to 16 metres in length and weigh up to 36,000 kilograms.

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