Magical encounter in the water with humpback whales in Tonga
Humpback whales are among the most beloved and awe inspiring animals on the planet. Their immense size, majestic presence, and haunting whale songs evoke intense emotion in all who see them. But to share the water with them and swim close to them is an experience that is moving beyond words.
Hunted to near extinction, whales have never been fully appreciated or understood. The complexity of their social structure, their communication, and even their capacity for emotion is something we are only now beginning to understand. Scientists have discovered that many whale songs are a complex series of sounds, blips, and chirps that are repeated as they communicate with other whales. Some songs last for over 20 minutes and they can be heard from hundreds of miles away. If only we could understand the meaning behind their voices.
The vibration of a nearby whale song is powerful enough to shake the chest and fill the ears of a person swimming near them. It brings the sense that the vibrations that echo back to the whale may be used by them to sense us in ways that we cannot comprehend.
A humpbacks intelligence is exceeded only by humans and by dolphins, although barely. As recently as 100,000 years ago, humpback whales are believed to be the most intelligent species that were in existence. Their soulful eyes have a depth to them that suggests great understanding as they look at us closely, and it is impossible to not wonder what they might think of our species.
Whales are essential to the overall health of the oceans and the planet. To lose them forever would be beyond tragic. And if that were not a good enough reason to want to help them, they are also extremely beautiful.