Watch: Whale in Argentina swims towards paddleboarder, gives a nudge

A paddleboarder’s close encounter with a giant southern right whale in Argentina’s Golfo Nuevo has left netizens shocked after the video went viral on social media.

The rare incident was caught on camera at Puerto Madryn when the curious whale lightly nudged the woman on the paddleboard and gently pushed it forward before swimming directly beneath it. “I think today I made the best whale drone video of my life,” tweeted photographer @maxijonas while sharing the clip featuring her unexpected interaction with the whale.

Watch the video here:

The 54-second video instantly went viral on social media and garnered over 1.6 million views, with many commenting on the friendly whale. However, some also called the paddleboarder lucky as she was left unharmed by the sea mammal.

“I don’t know whether I’d be paralyzed with fear or mesmerized with awe!” wrote a user on the viral clip while another commented, “Love that little, gentle nudge from the whale. What a remarkable encounter!”

“They are rare moments, it is something that is prohibited,” Oscar Comes, a local water-sports tourism operator, told the Guardian. “It isn’t like you can go in a kayak, standup board, a boat, or whatever, to look for the animal.”