It's not everyday that you just get to pet a wild whale and her baby calf.
In a February video for Barcroft TV, drone footage captures grey whales performing a water dance off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Suddenly, a mother whale and her calf come up and play with a boat filled with tourists.
"The mother, estimated at 40 feet, proves a gentle giant as she allows herself to be petted."
"And even her curious calf can't resist a scratch and a tickle," the video narrator says.
And it made quite the splash...
Watch the full video below:
"Just a couple of days in San Ignacio lagoon can be life-changing," photographer Mark Carwardine, who shot and directed the drone film, told Barcroft. "To have a 40 foot whale willingly approach you and bring its enormous baby for a scratch and tickle is arguably one of the most uplifting and thrilling wildlife encounters on Earth."
According to Barcroft TV, these great whales migrate almost 5,000 miles every year between the Artic and the warm waters of Mexico.
Interestingly, "they power these tremendous migrations — the longest of any mammal — by ramming their mouths into the sea floor and filtering out tiny crustaceans from the sediment," Carl Zimmer wrote for National Geographic back in March.
But over the last few years, these grey whales have stirred up a bit of curiosity within the field of biology.
For instance, in May 2010, a grey whale — typically found inside of the Pacific — "showed up on the wrong side of the world." And in 2013, another one showed up near Namibia.
"Gray whales may be poised to move into the Atlantic, because we're opening a path for them through the Arctic," National Geographic reported. "To some extent, it's a case of history repeating itself."
And while 19th century whalers used to refer to the grey whale as a "devil fish," today, tourists in Mexico see them as friendly creatures, according to Bagheera.com.
And by the looks of the drone footage, they're truly magnificent.