Stunning moment frozen in time by photographer off the coast of Tonga (Photos- Video)

 With a grace which belies her already incredible size, a baby whale flies through the air and appears to hover parallel to the water in this incredible wildlife snap.

The stunning moment was frozen in time by photographer Jon Cornforth off the coast of Tonga.

The baby humpback - which was already 16ft long - breached out of the water in front of the wildlife lover as he swam in the ocean.

He spent 90 minutes in the water with the friendly mother whale and her baby - coming within feet of the gentle giants.

Mr Cornforth, from Seattle, USA, said: 'The baby whale looks almost like it is levitating out of the water.

'It took hundreds of attempts to capture such a shot.

'Being able to swim with whales is probably one of those things that is top of everyone's bucket list.

'I've swam next to everything from little clown fish in Indonesia up to the humpback whales - it was an amazing experience.

'The baby was around five to seven metres long already. You do feel really small really quickly when encountering such a large mammal.'

Mr Cornforth, who was leading a group of swimmers on a trip to the whale hotspot, watched on as one whale even bumped into a friend of his.

He added: 'There was a baby whale which we were swimming very carefully towards.

'The baby swam around us and bumped into my friend from California called Jack.

'That must have really got his heart racing.'

The secret spot off the coast of Tonga has strict rules in place to preserve the well being of the animals - but sometimes the whales can get too inquisitive.

Mr Cornforth said: 'I've never felt threatened by humpback whales in the ocean.

'Bear in mind these whales are the same size as a double-decker bus and when they come by you within a few metres you have to get out of the way pretty quickly.

'You are only allowed to spend 90 minutes in the water with them which might sound like a long time but it goes very quickly.

'You have to remain 10 metres away from them at all times, but this baby whale was so inquisitive she came straight over to us.

'I tried to just hover back and kick gently to save disturbing the whales. It was a magical experience.'


Responses to "The baby humpback which appears to levitate in incredible snap "

  1. Anonymous says:

    What an amazing picture. I have never seen a whale over the water like that. All of the photos were so beautiful. Thank you for posting the video. I have never seen humans swimming so close to whales out in the ocean where they really live. This is more I can share with my grandchildren so the will have a respect and reverence for all life. Thank you.

  2. Phoenix says:

    Wow! What a photo - but also what a wonderful experience to get it ;-)

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