Why pay to see unhappy orcas in captivity when a short, simple video like this one is more breathtaking than anything you’ll see at a marine park? The humans who captured this footage were on a dock in Fox Island, Alaska, when a female orca, followed by a male, slowly drifted closer and closer, until they swam right under the dock. The onlookers were, as any of us would be in their situation, completely enthralled by how close they were to such a majestic animal.

These whales are most likely using the rocks in the shallow water to scratch their sides. That doesn’t sound as graceful as it looks, but hey, even whales get itchy!

The reactions of the people in this video show that we really don’t need to force marine mammals to perform demeaning tricks in order for us to be entertained. Seeing these orcas swimming peacefully is more beautiful than anything we’ll ever see in a tank.

To see more gorgeous whales in their natural environment, check out this video that shows why they all deserve to live free.