Several men in British Columbia, Canada got the experience of a lifetime. While standing on the shore of one of the Discovery Islands, at least four orcas came right up to the men, scratching their giant bellies on the stones. The orcas put on a several minute “show” for these lucky guys who watched in awe. They swam around, waving their tails and exposing their stomachs for the onlookers. You can’t help but to get the feeling that they are going above and beyond in the presence of the camera.

This behavior is far from common for orca whales. Scientists believe that it is kind of display is completely unique to the Northern Resident orcas, and although this is amateur footage, it will actually help scientists study the rare behavior. Currently, no one knows why these whales exhibit this behavior, but it is thought that this one family of orcas has passed it down between the generations. How incredible is that?

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Getting to witness natural behaviors, such as this one, is even more powerful knowing that many other orcas in captivity will never be able to experience this. In the wild, these amazing animals live in incredibly complex family units, travel long distances, and judging from this amazing footage, aren’t afraid of putting on a show in their natural habitat!

This video shows that there is no need for us to keep orcas in tanks to witness their glory. We can only hope that one day this will be the only way people enjoy these amazing animals.