1. So when you go whale watching, there is some degree of waiting.
2. And then all of the sudden you’re like, HOLY CRAP A SPLASH AND IT CAME OUT OF NOWHERE AND WHAT THE HELL!
3. Then a gray mass comes out of nowhere again (except not really nowhere because you are in his territory so back off).
4. And nothing is left behind but a big ol’ whale footprint…
5. …until he’s back 15 minutes later and it’s kind of terrifying but also exhilarating because you’re seeing a giant.
7. But once he slips under what is he doing?? Playing?? Just breathin’? Just being his whale self?
8. Luckily, we had a few experts on board to explain to us what the hell was going on down there.
On the left is Paul Atkins, cinematographer for Nat Geo WILD special WILD Hawaii and on the right, humpback whale expert, Joseph Mobley. The special premieres March 23 at 8 p.m. ET.
9. Turns out, when a whale comes up to say “hey” he’s not exactly just saying “hey.”
11. We were actually witnessing a “heat run” where a mama whale and her calf are just hanging out, migrating, ya know, the usual, and she is accompanied by an escort.
13. Behind the duo is a line of other whales just biding for their chance to take the escort’s spot.
14. So, while cool to us, this is actually a whale showing off his bravado to the other whales and the hot WMILF*.
*Whale version of “MILF” obviously
15. This ol’ thing? Just a regular one-two punch in whale terms.
17. …BOOM! This one probably really wanted to be the escort du jour.
18. It’s basically a speed dating line where the men put on their figurative boxing gloves and duke it out over females.
(Basically the worst case scenario for a dating scene IMO.)
19. “I have seen whales strike another whale so hard that it literally lifts the other’s body out of the water!”
Joseph cited this amazing instance as well as several others. Basically, they have tons of moves: Ramming one another (called “strikes”), aggressive-sounding blows, and even inflating their throats so their body appears larger.
20. Personally, I wanted to know if the female had a say in any of this, but even the top experts are still trying to decipher the subtle signals of the female.
My guess is the males DGAF ‘cause, ugh, men.
21. Like this lady just had a baby and they won’t leave her the eff alone.
22. Joseph said that when the female gets sick of the men (WHO CAN BLAME HER?), she will hide under a boat to avoid them.
Taking hiding from an unwelcome suitor at a dating event to a whole new level here.