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Humpback whale launches out of water like a missile, surprising freediver; video

Clark Little was following and photographing some Galapagos sharks while freediving off Oahu, Hawaii, earlier this month when he suddenly heard the high-pitched singing of a humpback whale.

"This beautiful humpback whale swam underneath me and I thought it was coming up for air when I realized it had too much speed and the unimaginable happened," the award-winning photographer from Haleiwa, Hawaii, wrote on Facebook. "Wow."

Little captured the "wow" moment in this amazing video, which was released by Caters News on Thursday:

The humpback whale can be seen turning on the afterburners underwater as it began its breaching with Little capturing the underwater and out-of-water sequence.

"To be next to an animal so large and powerful is mind-blowing," Little told Caters News. "The power and beauty of these incredible creatures is completely beyond comprehension; the adrenaline is still running through me even now.

"This was undoubtedly one of the most thrilling experiences of my life."

Little gained worldwide fame for his North Shore shore-break wave photography, which has been exhibited in Japan, Canada, Brazil, Spain, and even the Smithsonian Museum. He's also been featured many times on various TV programs.

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But his photographing highlight just might be this breaching humpback whale, which launched out of the water like a missile.

"I'm still buzzing over this once-in-a-lifetime experience," he wrote.