Blue whale’s comical interruption of naturalist is perfectly timed


Mark Carwardine just finishes discussing how hard it is to find a blue whale, when one surfaces.

Sometimes, even the largest creature ever to have roamed the planet can catch you by surprise, as naturalist Mark Carwardine discovered this week in a comical scene captured on video.

Carwardine was narrating for BBC Earth’s "Big Blue Live" in Monterey Bay, discussing how difficult it can be spotting even mammals that can measure 100 feet and weigh as much as 150 tons.

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"We spent all day since first light looking in one of the world's great hot spots for blue whales," the naturalist says. "Haven't seen a thing, and there were all sorts of reasons why, one is of course being whales. They're spending most of their lives underwater and out of sight so we could be going right by them and have no idea they're there."

Carwardine goes on and on about the challenges associated with trying to spot whales in rough seas, adding, "It's quite exciting in one way, but very frustrating in another that you know they're here, but you just jolly well can't find them."


Mark Carwardine laughs at the irony of the situation.

It's at this moment (29 seconds), as if on cue, that a blue whale announces its presence with a noisy blow, just off the vessel's bow, to the chagrin of the naturalist.

"Oh look," he says, while laughing at the irony of the situation. "There is one. Actually that was a lot easier than I was expecting. There's a whale right there. Talk of the devil."

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Blue whale swims near the BBC Earth vessel.

The episode seems orchestrated, it was so perfectly timed.

But blue whale sightings are never guaranteed, even in “hot spots” such as Monterey Bay. Only about 2,000 of them utilize West Coast waters each summer and fall, roaming vast areas searching for enormous patches of shrimp-like krill on which to feed.

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