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Whale Seems to Love Getting Hugs and Kisses

Whale enthusiast Adam Ernster's dream of meeting one of these gentle giants finally came true on a recent expedition in Baja, Mexico.

Man reaching out and touching a whale from a boat
Photo: Screenshots from Instagram

After spending years documenting whales from afar, his dream of meeting a gentle giant finally came true. As much as he enjoyed the experience, it seems Margarita the whale was just as enthused, as she seemed to make happy noises throughout the encounter.

A video posted by Silver Shark Adventures on Instagram shows a thrilled Ernster getting to pet, hug, and even kiss a whale. “When you are the one usually behind the camera, and finally getting your dream moment with one of the most special animals that you live to document,” the whale-watching company captioned the video. “Safe to say, everyone onboard enjoyed watching Ernster get his life changing moment in the sun with Margarita, one of the most friendly whales we have ever encountered on our adventures with the grey whales.”

In the footage, Ernster smiles wide as he pets Margarita, before going in for a hug and a handful of kisses on the whale's barnacle-covered head. As affecting as the video is, there is another perspective from the moment that reveals that the whale is having the time of her life as well. In a video posted to Reddit, the original footage features the noises made by the whale, which can only be described as a “cetacean purr.”


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