Filmmakers sometimes have to wait for hours at a time looking at basically nothing before they capture something truly captivating with their video cameras. Other times, something amazing happens right underneath their feet (or their flippers if they’re diving in the ocean).
For cameraman Patrick Dykstra, this was one of those moments that was completely unexpected.
Out in the freezing cold waters off the coast of Norway, Dykstra was filming wild orcas hunting for fish. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the water started bubbling up from beneath him.
When Dykstra looked down towards the bottom of the sea, he saw a massive humpback whale hurtling its way to the surface in a cascade of fish trying to get out of the way of the massive ocean creature.
Now, when 15 tons of whale is swimming towards you at breakneck speed, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it. But luckily for this particular camerman, he didn’t even have to get out of the way because the whale actually seemed like it purposefully avoided hitting him.
“The whale swerved to avoid hitting me,” Dykstra said. “It’s fascinating how something so big and moving so fast could avoid me…They’re incredibly intelligent creatures.”
When a humpback whale decides that it is time to eat, it takes a very special procedure because of the way its mouth works. Instead of teeth they have what are called baleen plates. These plates are rows and rows of thin, hair-like material that acts like a filter. When they are ready to find food, they open their massive mouths and let the water and any small fish, krill, or plankton rush inside.
The baleen filters all of the food and separates it from the water inside the whale’s mouth before the whale blows the excess water out of its blowhole.
So even though a humpback whale could very easily swallow a human being, it is very unlikely to actually happen.
For Patrick Dykstra, it probably seemed like a very dangerous place to be at the time, but the incredible footage he was able to capture was most likely very worth the scare.
Check out the incredible video below!
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