Rare Video Captures 40-Ton Whale Gleefully Leaping Fully Out of the Water

Scuba diver Craig Capeheart filmed a magical event off the southeastern coast of South Africa when he witnessed a 40-ton humpback whale leaping fully out of the water. Looking surprisingly spry for such a large animal, the whale caused other boat passengers to shout with awe as it splashed down.

The majestic animal is performing an act known as breaching. Researchers believe that breaching is a way for distant groups to communicate, different from the tail and fin slapping that is reserved for close range communication.

Though it’s considered a breach any time the whale’s body is at least 40% above sea level, it’s quite rare to see their entire body fly out of the water. This makes Capeheart’s close-up video a unique gem. “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,” Capeheart writes. “Dolphins and even Great White Sharks have been seen flying out of the water, but this is a first for an adult humpback whale!”

This humpback whale jumps fully out of the water, a rare site captured on film by a scuba diver in South Africa.