Fin whales are the second-largest animals on the planet, weighing some 80 tons (72 metric tons) and reaching 89.5 feet (27.3 meters) long. The largest animals in the world, in case you are wondering, are blue whales, which come in at 200 tons (181 metric tons). and reach 98 feet (29 meters). Though fin whales do come out of the water, the sight of one leaping 80 or 90 feet out of the water is something that very few people will ever witness; however, last week in the Straits of Gibraltar, one research assistant got an eye-popping view of one of these majestic creatures as it soared out of the water.
"It's a very rare behavior," said Alisa Schulman-Janiger, a researcher from the American Cetacean Society. "It's rarely observed and even more rarely captured on camera. If one does happen to breach, what are the chances that you're going to be ready with a camera?" The videographer is Séréna, is a summer research assistant with CIRCE, a Spain-based cetacean conservation, research, and education organization. She spotted a fin whale breaching the water three times in a row, right in front of her, and best of all, she caught it all on video.
The fin whale is one of the fastest whales in the world, and can go 46 km/h (29 mph). Watch is soar out of the water below: