Putting The ‘Hump’ In Humpback: Photographers Announce They’ve Captured Gay Whale Sex For First Time

Lyle Krannichfeld and Brandi Romano

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Humpback whales have been filmed having sex for the first time in history off the coast of Hawaii — and it was apparently a homosexual encounter.

Two photographers, Lyle Krannichfeld and Brandi Romano, captured the aquatic tryst entirely by chance off the Hawaiian island of Maui in Jan. 2022. They shared the images with marine biologist Stephanie Stack of the Pacific Whale Foundation who, along with her colleagues Lyle Krannichfeld and Brandi Romano made them the basis for a study entitled “An observation of sexual behavior between two male humpback whales,” published Tuesday in The Marine Mammal Science journal.

Humpback whales are the sixth largest whale on the planet by length, according to USA Today, at around 52 feet. But despite being a relatively plentiful and well-studied species, there was no documented footage of the mammals engaging directly in penetrative sex before Krannichfeld and Romano’s chance encounter.

According to the paper, a larger healthy male whale appeared to be pursuing an emaciated, immobile and apparently lice-ridden male. The paper’s authors believe the smaller whale may have been trying to hide behind the photographer’s boat. Eventually the weaker male succumbed and was penetrated by the healthier one while being “held in place by its pectoral fins”. (RELATED: Man Captures Video Of Whales Leaping Out Of Water In Extremely Rare Event)

This not particularly romantic-sounding encounter is estimated to have lasted around 30 minutes, according to NBC.

The report also notes that “[s]exual interactions between individuals of the same sex have been documented for a wide range of species.”