Both researchers and wildlife enthusiasts have always been charmed by the life beneath oceans and every time they encountered it, they’ve never been disappointed. Therefore when this marine expert came across a massive mink whale in the waters of Antarctica, the result was nothing short of sensational.
It actually took tons of luck for Regina Eisert – marine mammal expert at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, after she accidentally caught on camera this magnificent creature. Regina was testing a brand new underwater camera, during an expedition in the Ross Sea when all of a sudden a mink whale glided in front of her. A pure lucky occurrence if you think that Regina and her team were planning to spend about two weeks there for some orcas footages. However, a couple of hours after their expedition officially started they got this!
“The plan was to film continuously across the icebreaker channel that is prepared for the re-supply vessel to cross McMurdo Sound,” Regina Eisert said in the statement. “The water’s so clear, you can see right across the 160 to 260 fee lane and monitor all the whales that use the channel. Unfortunately, the system only recorded for just a few hours, due to ‘teething problems’ for this new technology in the field.”
The team did not even noticed the dream-like footage until they checked the camera days later. “We had no idea that we had this footage until Anthony found it when checking the camera back in Christchurch [New Zealand],” Regina said. “The whole whale glides past — this is such a lucky shot.”
Check out this amazing footage, perhaps the first showing a Minke Whale under water in the ice-covered Ross Sea. This footage was taken this season by Dr. Regina Eisert and her team from the University of Canterbury pic.twitter.com/ZLgUTx15zk
— AntarcticaNewZealand (@AntarcticaNZ) March 20, 2018
The rare footage as well as the expedition itself helped Regina and her team to better understand mink whales and to learn more about their behavior or about their feeding. Everyone initially thought mink whales are only chasing krill, but it turned out there was no krill in the Ross Sea during Regina’s expedition.
“We can learn so much from a small tissue sample, such as their diet — we think they just eat krill, but do they eat small fish as well?” Regina said. “On the other hand, whether Ross Sea minkes are separate from other minke whales on the Antarctic Peninsula or farther north, or if they are all part of one larger population.”
Watch the amazing footage bellow: