Open Wide: Blue Whale Does the Backstroke

Mother nature is putting on quite a show this summer for whale watchers up and down the California coast.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012  |  Updated 5:20 PM PDT
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Boaters off the coast of Dana Point were treated to a rare and flamboyant appearance by a humpback whale. Spectators called it a wave, but the humpback was actually displaying a behavior called

Boaters off the coast of Dana Point were treated to a rare and flamboyant appearance by a humpback whale. Spectators called it a wave, but the humpback was actually displaying a behavior called "lobtailing," or as one spectator put it, a "humpback high-five." No one knows exactly why whales and similar animals engage in this activity, but when they do it's definitely not hard to hear.

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Whale watching season 2012 is turning out to be one many will never forget.

There have been photographs of close encounters with kayaks and videos of whales showing off for the public.

Case in point is a picture (below) taken by Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari of a whale doing the backstroke while feeding on krill off the coast of Orange County.

The whale's mouth is open so wide, it makes the story of Jonah in the Bible seem like a no-brainer.

The black area you see in front of the open mouth is actually part of the whale's jaw, according to people who were on the whale watching tour.

In other recent whale news, boaters off the coast of Dana Point in Southern California were treated to a rare and flamboyant appearance by a humpback whale earlier this week. (That video is at the top of the article.)

Spectators called it a wave, but the humpback was actually displaying a behavior called "lobtailing," or as one spectator put it, a "humpback high-five."

No one knows exactly why whales and similar animals engage in this activity, but when they do it's definitely not hard to hear.

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