A photographer has captured video footage showing a pro surfer attempting an aerial maneuver at the precise moment a whale throws its tail fluke behind the wave.
The surfer is Brianna Cope of Hawaii. Alex Hayes, the photographer, told FTW Outdoors that Cope was practicing for a World Surf League competition in South Africa in early July when he noticed an active whale beyond the lineup.
“It was slapping its tail on the water in the same spot for about two minutes and then Brianna took the wave and it randomly lined up,” Hayes said.
Hayes asked his social media followers to watch the video twice to see that the movements of Cope and the whale almost seem choreographed.
Cope did not respond to an inquiry from FTW Outdoors. Her Instagram description of Hayes’ footage reads: “Sharing the ocean with an incredible animal. Mother Nature is amazing.”
Hayes did not identify the whale species but a researcher who examined the clip said it was almost certainly a humpback whale.