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Australian Vessel Spots Uncommon ‘Megapod’ of Humpback Whales


Australian Vessel Spots Uncommon ‘Megapod’ of Humpback Whales

Credit: Unsplash

There’s an age-old jest that individuals who partake in whale watching activities often end up simply “ocean gazing” due to the general rarity of whales breaching the ocean’s surface. Witnessing a solitary whale is somewhat unusual, and encountering a group of multiple whales is statistically implausible. However, towards the end of last week, a tour boat operated by Sapphire Coastal Adventures off the shores of Bermagui in New South Wales, Australia had the privilege of observing what could be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence: a megapod of whales.

Upon releasing a mass of baitfish into the waters in an attempt to attract whales for tourists, the tour boat operators were greeted by a spectacle of over 100 humpback whales, hungry and enthusiastic.

“The strong scent, fish scattered everywhere, whales emerging through it. At this point, the whales on the periphery were vigorously flapping their tails, essentially corralling the bait together, and subsequently, the whales began surfacing amidst the chaos,” shared Simon Miller, the proprietor of Sapphire Coastal Adventures, in comments to Reuters. “It’s truly remarkable.”

These whales generally frequent this part of the ocean as they journey back north from Antarctica for breeding purposes. Thus, the boat operators had anticipated spotting a few whales, but certainly not a number as significant as this. The largest gathering of whales that Miller had witnessed personally had only consisted of about 20.

“During the same week last year, we had a substantial gathering of humpback whales,” disclosed Miller to Reuters. “This phenomenon is when you encounter a megapod consisting of over 20 whales feeding within a specific area.”

“We’ve been observing whales feeding along the south coast for approximately 18, maybe 19 years, since I began this endeavor, 19 years back. However, we’ve never before witnessed them feeding in such massive congregations,” he expressed.

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