MONTEREY, Calif. — A pod of killer whales put on quite the show for a group of onlookers during a whale watching expedition. Video shows a rare sight of the whales swimming and playing off the coast of California, leaving tourists and experts blown away.
“This is not your every day event, It was like a big party,” said Marine Biologist for Monterey Bay Whale Watch, Nancy Black.
Video shows dozens of orcas having the time of their lives.
“It’s pretty incredible to have an encounter like that and they were exuberant and yeah, the best words – they were playful, they were happy," said Black.
The video, captured earlier this month, was taken by the Monterey Bay Whale Watch tour agency and shows a pod of 30 killer whales – made up of whales from 11 different families.
“They all had gotten together on this day, and they were really active, they were breaching, tail slapping, and playing and all the youngster from each family were intermixing so it was like kids on a playground that hadn’t seen each other in a while," continued Black.
What’s even more remarkable, Black says, is how long they socialized.
“I’ve been doing for like over 30 years, and they were doing this for over 8 hours, and I’ve never seen something like this last for so long so that was so incredible about it," she added.
Black, who’s also the director of a nonprofit called the California Killer Whale Project, says most people typically see two to seven whales in one sighting.
While they tend to hunt in large numbers, she says this particular encounter was out of the ordinary.
“As far as socializing, this is the largest groups I’ve seen do that and that, and that means that by chance, all these families had to be close enough together in the ocean to form such a group," she said.
The whales cover a large range – stretching from southern Californian all the way up to British Columbia, leaving experts baffled as to how so many ended up together.
They're also typically more active during April and May.
“June we don’t see them as often as past years, and this June we’ve had more sightings than we’d expect," said Black.
Black says she has an idea of why the whales were in such a good mood. She thinks, they probably had a good hunting season leaving them plenty of time to socialize and play.
WATCH RELATED: Dramatic video of killer whales attacking boats in Spain (June 2023).