Nature & Environment

Three Whales Make a Surprise Appearance in Langkawi Waters

Feature Image courtesy of The Revelator
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Photos of a pod of whales in Langkawi waters immediately went viral after they were spotted breaching the surface to feed.

Whale spotting in coastal Malaysian waters is quite a rare occurrence as most know, so what happened to a group of very lucky people recently could only be called a stroke of pure luck!

Photos of a pod of whales passing through Langkawi waters immediately went viral after they were spotted breaching the surface to feed.


In a series of videos posted by TikTok user @madylangkawi, the whales can be seen lolling about on the surface of the water as they feed on fish before going back underwater. The beautiful sight was reportedly filmed in the waters of Pulau Payar and Segantang, and while rare, apparently it wasn’t the first time whales were spotted in the waters of Langkawi.

Speaking to the New Straits Times, Langkawi Fisheries Department officer Azahar Ahmad confirmed that whales are indeed occasionally sighted in Langkawi.

“Yes, the whales have indeed been sighted passing by Langkawi waters, but it is seasonal,” he said.

In one of the videos, a group of people on a boat managed to get within just a few feet from the whales, making them very lucky to have snagged such a close encounter. Keeping a respectful distance, the group got to say hello to the whales as they passed by.

Based on the videos, the animals appear to be Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera brydei), a species of baleen whale known to inhabit warmer, temperate waters. Though most think the name is pronounced as “brides,” it’s not: The whale is named for Norwegian Johan Bryde, and is pronounced BROO-dus. These are moderately sized whales, reaching overall lengths of 13 to 14 metres (about 43 to 46 feet).

In many indigenous cultures, whales are considered a very powerful totem as they are revered as the earth’s record-keeper of all time. Coastal Native American cultures believe the whale symbolizes wisdom, luck, and lasting love too. Some also believe that if you are splashed by a whale you are being blessed with joy!

A Bryde’s whale breaching in the Gulf of Mexico, North America | Image Credit: New Scientist

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