The unusual frenzy of whales bursting from the waves lasted at least 45 minutes.

Marine scientists have already noted 2016 has been an extremely prolific year for whales along the California coast. Nowhere was that more evident recently than the San Francisco Bay, where humpback whales awed kayakers by snapping their gargantuan maws on loads of luckless fish.

“Three at once coming up from the bottom like a Polaris missile with their mouths open to capture all the water,” Lyrinda Snyderman told ABC News. “We had never seen this behavior before in the bay.”

The cetacean agitation went on for at least 45 minutes Sunday in front of the familiar backdrops of Alcatraz Island and the Bay Bridge. Researchers have offered different theories for the whales’ heavy presence off California, from trouble in their southern breeding grounds to a surge in their favorite prey in local waters. The latter might be the case here: Herring are reportedly moving in large numbers around San Francisco, as evident in this footage of seagulls going all Alfred Hitchcock near the city’s Ocean Beach:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    The Curious Politics of a Montreal Mega-Mall

    The car-dependent suburb it’ll be built in wants to greenlight Royalmount against the city government’s wishes but it needs them to pay for the public infrastructure.

  2. Design

    There’s a Tile Theft Epidemic in Lisbon

    With a single azulejo fetching hundreds of euros at the city’s more reputable antique stores, these tiles, sitting there out in the open, are easy pickings.

  3. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  4. Multicolored maps of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tampa, denoting neighborhood fragmentation
    Equity

    Urban Neighborhoods, Once Distinct by Race and Class, Are Blurring

    Yet in cities, affluent white neighborhoods and high-poverty black ones are outliers, resisting the fragmentation shown with other types of neighborhoods.

  5. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?