A shocking video showing a massive humpback whale yards away from a female surfer surfaced online Friday and has gone viral, becoming a big hit on the Internet Friday.
The clip shows a massive humpback whale flapping painfully close to a woman floating in the fetal position on her surfboard and two kayakers near Santa Cruz, Calif.
The video’s shooter was Barb Rotteger, a California-based massage therapist who told ABC News, "I was there to see the whales. They were in a feeding frenzy."
Rotteger also told ABC News the recording was intended to capture the surfer who was dressed in a bikini, which Rotteger found to be unusual clothing gear for surfing, which generally requires a wetsuit.
"She wasn't wearing a wetsuit and the water was very cold," Roettger said.
Only a few feet away the people, the caption for the video (seen below) reads a "woman floating on a surfboard near Santa Cruz, California almost ended up on the lunch menu for a humpback whale over the weekend."
While the people in the close encounter caught on tape were not harmed, they were clearly shaken by the experience.
Once the whale was a safe distance away, Roettger spoke with scantily clad surfer and said the unsuspecting woman was still in shock from the incident. The woman also reportedly said that she will never get that close to a big mammal ever again.
The whale encounter was too outrageous for some to believe. The San Jose Mercury News speculated that the video "must be fake."
However, the video is not too much of a chance encounter. According to USA Today, a social group of whales has settled unnervingly close to feed off the coast of Santa Cruz.
According to a marine expert who spoke with USA Today, hungry whales are skilled in avoiding people while "lunge-feeding," but the risk level rises with close proximity.
The U.S. Coast Guard is warning people to stay 100 yards away from the creatures or face a $2,500 for "whale harassment."
Here is a video showing the shocking whale encounter in California: