Megapod of 150 humpback whales spotted off Australian coast

Posted by David Henning on 17 September 2021

Every year, Humpback whales migrate north from their feeding grounds in the Antarctic to the warmer subtropical waters to mate or calf. During this annual migration, these animals can form large pods, and a recent ‘megapod’ of more than 150 humpback whales were seen during a feeding frenzy off Australia’s coast on 9 September 2020, near Bermagui.

Humpbacks can form large pods during their migration north in and upwelling areas, such as South Africa’s west coast, where krill, their main food source, is raised to the ocean floor by wind-induced upwelling.

It can lead to spectacular sightings, where whales lunge feed with their mouths wide open and putting on acrobatic displays during a feeding frenzy.

Australia, which lies on a similar latitude to South Africa, is also a migratory destination for humpback whales, and Sapphire Coastal Adventures in New South Wales managed to catch amazing footage of a megapod more than 100 whales strong. The charter posted the video, commenting that;

‘We were privileged to experience a mega pod last season and on Thursday we experienced this again. We were watching small pods of whales feeding during the afternoon and then noticed a concentration of blows to the east, so headed out wider. When we arrived we could not believe our eyes. There was a massive bait ball of small fish rippling on the surface and surrounding it were at least 150 humpback whales and 100’s of albatross. We watched in awe for over an hour as the whales worked together and consumed these fish. A spectacle that will remain with us for life.’

Watch their amazing sighting below.


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Featured image: Getaway Gallery

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