Marine parks, zoos, and aquariums may try their best to capture the “essence” of animals in their facilities, yet often (especially in the case of marine parks and improperly managed captive environments) these facilities are not enough.

Even if they provide excellent care, we usually cannot witness the true beauty and intelligence of animals in captive facilities because they live in human-made environments that are unable to fully replicate an animal’s life and habitat in the wild.


Perhaps this is why, when we witness animals being their wild selves, it is a wondrous experience – something we can’t quite compare to anything else before.

Recently, a small tourist boat got quite the “wild” experience when it pulled to a stop in the warm waters near Peninsula Valdes, off the Argentinean coast.

Underneath the boat, a 50-ton southern right whale and her adorable calf appeared to the wonderful surprise of all on-board. The pair even “checked out a brave scuba diver who was allowed so close he could stare right into the giant creatures’ eyes,” reports The Mirror.

This remarkable encounter was captured in photos by Justin Hofman, which you can view below.


Stunning, aren’t they? (And by “they,” I mean both the photos and the gorgeous animals.)

All images: The Mirror / Barcroft Media