Photographer Captures Seal Remarkably Riding on The Back of a Humpback Whale


It seems like humpback whales have been in the news quite a bit as of late. Take for instance the 80,000 pound whale which narrowly missed landing on a couple of kayakers off of the coast of California earlier in the week. Well, wa3today we got word of yet another interesting and unusual story involving a humpback whale and this time a seal.

This story comes to us all the way from New South Wales, Austrailia, where a photographer named Robyn Malcolm was able to capture an extraordinary image without even knowing it. A pod of humpback whales were engaged in a feeding frenzy as Malcolm continued taken dozens of shots of the event. It was’t until she went back and began viewing all the photos she had taken that she noticed quite a remarkable capture.

In one of her photographs, amidst all of the commotion, there was a seal riding on the back of one of the whales, completely out of the water. As if the seal was using the humpback as its own personal surfboard, it confidently stood firmly atop the creature as it moved across the sea.

“We’d seen some amazing whales coming out of the water, everything was happening so quickly,” Malcom explained. “And it was when I went back through the photos that I realized I had actually captured the seal on top of the whale.”

When the Brisbane Times asked Geoff Ross, a local National Parks and Wildlife whale expert, his thoughts on this remarkable photograph, he said that it was incredibly unusual and that he had only heard of something like this happening one other time.wa4

“The only other time was a seal trying to get away from a killer whale … the seal hopped on the back of the pectoral fins of a humpback whale,” he said.

Malcolm has already had a few people question the legitimacy of the photograph, claiming that it had to have been doctored, but she ensured the Sydney Morning Herald that she doesn’t even know how to use photoshop and that the image is still on the camera which she took it with.

This certainly was a unique event, and one which I’m sure Malcolm will forever remember photographing.  Below you will find a slideshow of some of the images that Malcolm had taken, along with her commentary.

[Images: Robyn Malcolm /]