Extraordinary moment two 40-tonne Whales leap out of the water in Hawaii


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It is an incredible moment when, after hours of waiting, you finally get to see a whale swimming in the ocean.

And wildlife photographer, Jon Cornforth, 43, managed an even rarer sighting when he witnessed two of the majestic mammals exploding out of northern Pacific Ocean together, before coming crashing down in unison.

The rare event was documented off the coast of Hawaii and took place near the humpback whales’ breeding grounds.

In sync! The gigantic sea giants rose out of the water together, and crash into the waves in unison
Scientists still do not fully understand why 40-tonne whales choose to throw themselves out of the water- but why two would decide to leap into the air at the same time is a greater mystery still

Cornforth said: ‘When this double breach happened, I knew that I had just seen something special, but prayed that my camera had captured the moment.

I was howling with joy as I quickly scrolled through my images and realised that magnitude of what I had just photographed.

Keep in mind, that I was doing this while still motoring my small boat in heavy seas with several whales still very close by.

Jon Conforth has been capturing humpback whales for 15 years and says he doesn’t have time to think about a composition or change camera settings when witnessing the perfect breach

 

The photographer has been capturing humpback whales for 15 years. He says he doesn’t have time to think about a composition or change camera settings when witnessing the perfect breach.

‘I don’t have time to think about composition or change my camera settings,’ he said.

I simply do what I’ve become proficient at and point my camera and push the shutter button.

Although he may only see the leap unfold in a second. His camera is firing at 10 frames per second to get the detailed shot.

Fun with friends! The whales frolic in the waves in unison, propelling themselves into the air to the delight of photographer Cornforth
Majestic: The sight of a humpback whale rising out of the waves is breathtaking for any onlookers

It is not been categorically proven by scientists why the sea giants propel themselves out of the water, though it has been suggested it is a form of social communication.

Some say it is a form of warding off predators, with larger mammals creating a resounding smash as they hit the surface.

Other explanations say it simply a way of removing parasites from their bodies.

It is not categorically proven why whales breach out of the waters. But some think it is ward off predators with the sound
Other suggestions for why they breach are to rid themselves of parasites and communicate with other whales

Female whales can often be seen nudging their calves to the surface in order to learn how to breach.

Whatever the reason, the sight is still a breathtaking one, especially when you are metres away from the 40-tonne creatures.

The photographs capture the sheer power of these mammals, which can reach 62.5 ft in length.

Humpback whales are common in the Hawaii area. As they migrate here annually to breed in the warmer waters

Humpback whales are known for their mystical songs. Which can travel for vast distances through the ocean.

They are omnivores, but can be found near coastlines feeding on krill, plankton and other small fish.

Annually the whales migrate to warmer waters closer to the equator to breed.

Cornforth said: ‘When this double breach happened. I knew that I had just seen something special, but prayed that my camera had captured the moment’
Triumphant! ‘I was howling with joy as I quickly scrolled through my images. And I realised that magnitude of what I had just photographed’

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