Incredible Video: Man Encounters a Whale Seemingly Frozen in Place

Incredible Video: Man Encounters a Whale Seemingly Frozen in Place

Man finds humpback whale 'frozen' in ocean. But there is a twist

Imagine paddling in a kayak and stumbling upon a massive tail fin of a humpback whale sticking straight out of the ocean surface, seemingly frozen in place. That's what happened to an Australian TikTok star, Brodie Moss, who captured the rare and fascinating spectacle on video.

What is tail sailing?

The whale was not actually frozen, but performing what is known as a 'headstand' or 'tail sailing'. This is a phenomenon that has puzzled scientists for decades. It is occasionally observed in humpback whales, as well as gray whales, bowhead whales, and right whales.

The term 'tail sailing' comes from the resemblance of the whale's tail to a sail when it sticks up out of the ocean. The whale can remain in this position for several minutes, slowly twisting its tail, spinning it around on a longitudinal axis.

## Why do whales do it?

There are several theories about why whales engage in tail sailing. Some suggest it could be a way for the whales to rest, while others propose it could be a method to regulate body temperature. It could also be a form of communication, play, or curiosity.

When mother whales exhibit this behavior, their calves generally swim around them. This was the case in Moss's encounter, as he noticed a baby whale swimming around the adult's tail, leading him to believe that the larger whale was likely the mother.

Where can you see it?

Moss did not disclose the exact location of his encounter, but he is part of the YBS Youngbloods crew, a team that creates ocean media content in Western Australia. Interestingly, similar behavior has been recorded by a whale-watching business in the same region in 2019 and 2020. A long-term study conducted off the coast of Brazil between 1989 and 2000 also noted instances of tail sailing.

Tail sailing is not very common, and it is considered a privilege to witness it. If you are lucky enough to see it, make sure to keep a safe distance from the whale and respect its space. And don't forget to capture the moment on camera!


(1) Man finds humback whale 'frozen' in ocean. But there is a twist | Video.
(2) Watch the incredible moment a man encounters a humpback whale seemingly frozen in place while doing a rare 'headstand'.
(3) YouTuber captures video of a whale frozen in middle of the ocean.

To Top