14 interesting facts about Humpback Whales seen from our dive boat

There is nothing more humbling than seeing a humpback whale breach out at sea, or witness their playful calfs swim up to the boats inquisitively to check you out.  Come diving with us in Sodwana Bay between June and October to witness these spectacular creatures yourself.  In the meantime here are some fun facts.

  • Humpback Whales are smart, but they are also vocal and each population communicates by whale song which is learnt by the babies from other whales around them, oddly only the males sing.
  • Each song can be up to 20 minutes in length and heard up to 20 miles away.  They can sing the same song for hours on end.
  • An adult whale must consume almost 1.5 tonnes of kril daily!
  • The females outweigh the males, they are longer and can measure up to 50 feet long, sometimes males are as much as 10 feet shorter.
  • A whale tail can be up to 7 metres wide, and the flippers can be one third of their total length.  They can weigh as much as 40 tons!  If you can put it into perspective your average car weighs 2 tons.
  • Whales can be found all over the globe, here in tropical waters, far north near Alaska, all over the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, New York, Massachusetts and even the Arabian Sea!
  • There are believed to be 40, 000 existing humpbacks in the world.  Thankfully killing them is now illegal although some countries continued to kill them until a few decades ago.  This is 35 percent less than the worlds original population.
  • Breaching, tail slapping, or just poking their heads out of the water is not proven but thought to be the whales way of communicating to each other.
  • Humpback whales are pregnant for about a year! they give birth once every two to three years and a baby whales consumes 45 kg of milk a day!
  • Pods of whales are often made up of a mother whale and her children, or a few friends but these pods don't mix together at all.
  • This one species of whale migrates further than most, they migrate for an average 16, 000 miles per season.  They have two seasons a year, feeding in the summer months and mating in the winter months.
  • Humpback whales have no teeth, they have something called baleen plates which act like a sieve, separating the water from all the tiny krill they eat.
  • The humpback whale has two blowholes.  One for each of their lungs.  Each lung is about the size of a car.  They don't breathe like humans do, they actually have to think about breathing, unlike humans.  To go to sleep and still breathe a humpback shuts off half of its brain.
  • Each whale has a unique design or fingerprint found on its underbelly, these white markings are used by scientists to recognise individuals.