A Tasmanian Diver's Close Encounter With a Whale - Atlas Obscura
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A Tasmanian Diver’s Close Encounter With a Whale

It was hard to avoid.

If Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home taught us anything, it’s that whales are gentle and magical creatures. But unless you are Spock, it still takes guts to touch one, like one Tasmanian diver did when he recently captured his up-close encounter with a southern right whale on video.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the 19-year-old diver, Kaeo Landon-Lane, got a chance to “boop” a southern right whale while on an outing with his father. The father and son had spotted a pair of whales near the surface, and the younger Landon-Lane got in the water to get a closer look.

As seen in the video, the pair of whales slowly come into view through the murk. Eventually one of the whales came close enough to Langdon-Lane that he thought it might run into him, so he put out an arm and pushed off its barnacled snout as it passed.

“I felt its enormity,” Landon-Lane told ABC, “being that close to it and feeling so small.”