For the first time ever, video has been captured of one of the ocean’s most mysterious creatures swimming underwater in the deep coastal waters of the Azores.
The video reveals the True’s beaked whale, a medium-sized whale that is so rare that many researchers who study the creatures go their whole lives without spotting one.
The video shows the whales surfaced for 10 minutes, which gave the team time to slip out of their inflatable boat with a GoPro camera to record them.
“Suddenly this group of whales appear from nowhere and start to surround the boat,” says Natacha Aguilar de Soto, a marine biologist from the University of St Andrews, UK, and the University of La Laguna on the Canary Islands, Spain, who later identified the whales from the footage. “These are whales that very few people in the world have ever seen.”
The True’s beaked whale has never been tagged for research purposes.
The study further determined that these marine mammals favor waters off the Azores and coastal regions off the Canary Islands. Both sets of islands are oceanic volcanic archipelagos that rose from the seafloor of the Atlantic. As a result, the water around these islands is very deep, and is therefore suitable for the deep-foraging whales.