Whales – the largest, and perhaps most majestic creatures of our blue planet. They have been living in our deep oceans, which we only know a fraction about, for literally millions of years. They have evolved, survived, and thrived. However, they are now endangered creatures. Hence, they are protected by international law.

These gentle giants have been fascinating humankind ever since a human stood on a beach, looking out to sea, and first spotted a whale. Moby Dick by Herman Melville might just be the most famous book about whales and whaling, with the infamous white whale of the title.  emphasizing the great white whale. The obsession with this creature and also the immense respect it evoked in the men at sea is undeniable evidence of the mystic aura around this sea animal.

Whales can be classified as mysticeti (no teeth) and odonotoceti (toothed whales), both of the species being harmless when it comes to humans.

Gentle Yet Powerful – Giants of The Sea

Whale Breaking Through Surface

A whale breaking through the surface to blow out and get oxygen for its next deep dive – Los Angeles, CA, USA

Slowly, yet with a powerful push, a whale comes to the surface to blow out the air and get fresh oxygen for another deep dive, some lasting up to ninety minutes. We are only granted a quick look and see just a fraction of the whale’s size. We hold our breaths and watch in awe. Time stands still for a moment.

This black and white tonal depiction of a surfaced whale highlights just how much of an “ocean classic” they are. Going further, these marvelous giants symbolize timelessness and space. Remarkably enough, these animals are shy creatures despite their impressive size. And should you be lucky enough to actually “look one in the eye”, you will see they have a good heart and soul. They are an inspiration for humankind. Their peacefulness and benign power is captured and reflected in this photograph.  

There is no earthly way of finding out precisely what the whale really looks like. – Moby Dick

Whales are mystifying, and perhaps even mystical, for a reason: there is so little we really know about them. We have to be in their element – not ours – if we truly want to understand them – their size, their being. For many, to swim with and possibly touch them is a life changing experience. It makes us realize just how small we are. Yet, how much power we have to damage the natural environment of these friendly animals. And in return: Just how much potential to also protect these gentle giants. Because they are vulnerable and we have a responsibility for this planet and its inhabitants older than us.

Peaceful Spirit – Majestic Appearance

Calm Waters at Sunset

Calm waters at sunset; we can only imagine what is under the surface. A whale can show up any second – Los Angeles, CA, USA

The air is mild as the sun is setting. The water is rather still. It seems as if there is nothing happening, either on the surface or below the surface. But don’t be fooled. Just be patient. Wait. We all know that, all too often, we have to look deeper to see what is really happening; that we need to look closer to see the sheer beauty. Within seconds, a large whale can disrupt the calm surface and make a majestic appearance. Then, it disappears again, only leaving slowly easing waves behind.

What peaceful spirits of the sea they are. We find them in many places; however, they prefer colder waters of the southern and northern hemispheres. The term “whale” goes back to old English meaning “large sea fish”. But we know they are no fish per se, as they are mammals – just like us – dependent on oxygen. They might call the deep blue their home, but they have to break through the surface to breathe.

Aren’t these gentle giants much closer to us in characteristics than we might think? They show great intelligence, live in their own communities and cooperate with one other. They can speak to each other through sound and have a lifespan at least as long as our own. Fascination: whales. Gigantic. Impressive. Mystical. Yet intimidating due to their size.

If size really mattered, the whale, not the shark, would rule the waters. – Matshona Dhliwayo

Yet,  in a sense, they do. In a harmonious, peaceful way, they slowly make their way through the oceans to follow their calling – their life cycle. If only we are as gentle as they are in our approach. We owe it to the next generation and our wonderful blue planet: the protection of the majestic whales, kings of the ocean, in their natural habitat.

Let them thrive