Gorgeous drone footage, captured in 2014, shows humpback whales and dolphins playing with each other in what appears to be a game of tag. Although the footage was caught over two years ago, it’s only recently been posted to the Facebook page “Life in the Hawaiian Islands” where it went viral. With almost half a million views, the stunning footage has been reacted to almost 7,600 times and shared over 18,000 times.
Although the two underwater animals are of a different species, they seem to be getting along just fine. Evidently, dolphins and humpback whales actually have a long history of friendship, and it is something that humans very rarely get to witness, especially in such a candid way, looking down from above.
The Aquatic Mammals Journal says of the two species and previous interactions:
“When two species share a common habitat, interspecific interactions can take many forms. Understanding the dynamics of these interactions can provide insight into the behavior and ecology of those species involved.
Two separate, unusual interactions are described in which a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) lifted a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) completely out of the water. Both incidents occurred in Hawaiian waters. Based on reports of object play by hump-back whales, and the apparent initiation and cooperation of each dolphin being lifted, object (i.e., the dolphin) play by the whale and social play by the dolphin seem to be the most plausible explanations for the interaction.”
Although it is possible for humpback whales to be aggressive, it appears they have formed an interspecies relationship with their habitat-dwelling companions. This amazing footage is also testament to the intelligence of these animals, which humans may often underestimate or overlook.