The world’s largest mammal. So much remains unknown about these creatures, occasionally swimming into the view of lucky marine biologists or right-place-right-time photographers. We’ve selected five videos that capture the incredible form and elegance of this animal, from close-up encounters to bird’s-eye drone footage:

Amazing Blue Whale

In this rare footage we witness a blue whale diving down into the deep blue, and then returning to the surface for air. Filmed by underwater cameramen Roger Munns and Jason Isley, who spent several weeks in Sri Lanka filming and photographing blue whales, they had to use special techniques to reduce noise and disruption when approaching these shy creatures.

Source: Scubazoo

Curious Blue Whale Says Hello

Up at the surface a blue whale emerges from the blue and swims under two freedivers – dwarfing the diver in the frame. With this incredible size, they can swim up to 48 km/h and have a tongue that weighs the same as an elephant. Their main catch is found at incredible depths, often diving as deep as 500 metres.

Source: mzdkTV

Baby Blue Whale Nursing

From the sky, a drone captures the first aerial footage of nursing in a blue whale. Shot at South Taranaki Bight in New Zealand, this bird’s-eye view shows the the animals’ tender interactions – the calf alternating between coming to the surface to breathe, and then going to its mother to suckle. In an area that experiences a high volume of industrial activity, this touching video highlights the need to conserve these creatures.

Source: National Geographic

Swimming with the World’s Biggest Animal

Set in the tropical waters of Sri Lanka, the story follows underwater photographer Patrick Dykstra’s journey to photograph the blue whale. Revisiting the same spot off the Sri Lankan coast every year, Patrick became one of the first photographers to document the local blue whale population. Using technology to his advantage, he could photograph both above and below – capturing the immense size of the animals.

Source: Barcroft TV

Live Interview Interrupted by Blue Whale

How could we not sign off this list with the moment a blue whale interrupted a live BBC broadcast, causing Steve Backshall and his interviewee to gasp and fidget, and almost lose it on television? As the whale surfaces at just the right moment, helicopter footage reveals the silver lining of the blue whale’s back as it slowly travels past the boat, which it dwarfs. The huge mammal then dives down, to background groans from the presenter, dramatically closing the coverage.

Source: BBC