Featured Image Credit: sites.google.com
By: Kira Krall
The life of a wildlife documentarian is sometimes a rough one. There’s usually a lot of sitting, a lot of waiting, and some danger involved in getting the perfect shot. While filming for the long-awaited Blue Planet II, Patrick Dykstra got the thrill of his life. Watch the event unfold!
Dykstra and his team were in the Norwegian Sea to film humpbacks stunning herring by slapping their massive tails against the schools when the surprise visitor showed up. The herring bait ball Dykstra was filming quickly vanished as the humpback whale shot towards it (and him!) Humpbacks and other baleen whales are famous for eating plankton and krill, but as the video shows us, they also eat small fish that don’t require any chewing. Approaching the bait ball at high speed from below traps the fish between the surface and the whale’s massive mouth.
Atlantic humpback whales begin their Polar migration in spring. Upwelling brings cold water jam-packed with nutrients to the surface that create a buffet for hundreds of species, including the humpback whale. Researcher and wildlife photographer Fredrick Broms has documented 453 individuals in the northern reaches of the Norwegian Sea. The 15-ton viral sensation in the video will likely make its way south to its breeding grounds with the rest of the humpbacks come fall.
While the video is incredible, it didn’t make the final cut of the first episode that debuted this past week. You can watch Blue Planet II on Sundays on BBC One and BBC Earth.