Whales, despite their enormous size, are among the most mysterious and poorly understood organisms on the planet.
We humans are mesmerized by the juxtaposition of their massive size and usually calm, serene nature. Despite our continuous attraction to these captivating marine mammals, there is still much we don’t know about their behavior and biology.
A dramatic interaction between a seasoned marine biologist and a humpback whale in the Cook Islands in the South Pacific helps to highlight just how much we still don’t know about these gentle giants – and has sent shockwaves throughout the scientific world in the process.
Nan Hauser, a 63-year-old marine researcher, has dedicated her life to studying, researching, and assisting whales.
She was born in Maine and has spent the last three decades traveling the world to chronicle and preserve as many whales as she can by campaigning for their rights and protection.
Swimming with whales regularly is one of the pleasures of this line of work, but while she was used to paddling alongside these aquatic monsters, nothing could have prepared her for what would happen on this particular routine swim.