A group of whalewatchers off the coast of Quebec were treated to an incredible close encounters with the second largest animal on earth recently.
Eric Mouellic, a French tourist visiting Canada for the first time, caught this incredible footage of a fin whale within minutes of being in the waters off Tadoussac.
The group on the boat was watching a pair of whales feed when one swam right towards the boat with its boat wide open to collect feed - likely, krill - before diving underneath.
"It was, in fact, magic," he told CBS. "Even the boat operator told his passengers he’d never witnessed anything like it in 15 years."
Fin whales are the second largest animals on earth, after the blue whale. At this time of year, many can be seen feeding in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, a conservation area in Quebec and one of the world’s best whale-watching sites, with humpbacks and minke other regular visitors.
According to Patrice Corbeil, education director of a non-profit marine mammal research centre based in Tadoussac, the boat was never in danger:
"You notice that the whale avoided hurting the boat. They don’t like to hit anything on the surface. That’s why the whale turned ... on its side. Right on the surface, you can see just how big it is - 18 metres long, 50 tonnes in weight."
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