Pairs of whales breach in perfect tandem; photographer captures the moments

A photographer in Australia captured stunning images of something one might only see once or twice during the migrating season: two whales breaching in perfect synchronization.

So you might say photographer Jonas Liebschner of Whale Watching Sydney hit the daily double as he saw and snapped photos of two pairs of humpback whales breaching simultaneously only seven days apart.

On the second day of whale-watching season off Manley Beach north of Sydney, Australia, Liebschner took a photograph showing two humpback whales breaching in perfect tandem with flippers in identical positions before splashing down.

A perfect tandem breach performed by humpback whales in Australia. Photo: Courtesy of Whale Watching Sydney/Caters News

“The shots where they are pointing their flippers out of the water are definitely the best pictures of a double breach I have ever taken," Liebschner told the Mirror. "They look perfectly synchronized."

A week later on May 21, Liebschner snapped a photo of two other humpback whales breaching in perfect tandem near a whale-watching boat near North Head outside Sydney Harbor. Caters News released both photos Monday.

Two humpback whales breach in perfect tandem in front of whale-watching boat. Photo: Courtesy of Whale Watching Sydney/Caters News

"Usually I will only see a double breach once or twice in each migrating season, but they are very hard to capture on camera," Liebschner told the Mirror. "I have been doing this for 10 years, but I always seem to not be there when it happens. Whales somehow seem to know when you’re not ready.

"You can be glued to your camera for two hours and nothing happens, and then the moment you go to get a biscuit that is exactly when they will jump. You have to be concentrating all the time."

Apparently, you also have to be ready for when they perform a bit of synchronized swimming:

Liebschner is at a loss as to why whales breach in tandem, but reasons for breaching are said to be a means of communication and a way to remove parasites or barnacles, or possibly to scratch an itch, which whales also do by rubbing against a sandy shoreline.

For whatever the reason, synchronized breaching is a marvel.

"It is quite amazing how they are able to say, 'three, two, one, go' to each other underwater," Liebschner said.

Read more about breaching whales on GrindTV

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