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This massive right whale came up to wildlife photographer Brian Skerry with “great curiosity, but no aggression.”

The ocean’s whales are some of the Earth’s most massive and majestic animals, reaching sizes of up to 80 feet long and 150 tons. As the targets of centuries of whaling, they have a violent history — and are still recovering from an industry that depleted their numbers substantially. (Pics)


But while whales can be aggressive at times, they are more often gentle, curious creatures — and likely to check out foreign objects in the water, including boats and photographers.

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Sperm Whale

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Pilot Whale

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The first baby blue whale photographed underwater, this calf surprised scientists off the coast of Costa Rica, by approaching the boat.

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Humpback Whale

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Killer Whale

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Beluga Whale

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Fin Whale

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Gray Whale

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Via Treehugger