Humpback whale puts on stunning rare show off coast of Ireland

There's something strange happening in the waters off Ireland as you can see from these stunning photographs of a humpback whale doing an acrobatic display.

The whale was photographed "breaching" off the east coast of Ireland near Wexford.

The once-in-a-lifetime shots were captured by Padraig Whooley, of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

Whooley had chartered a boat to troll the seas about three miles off Hook Head in County Wexford after hearing reports of groups of whales gathering in the area.

‘One of the largest creatures on the planet “exploding” out of the water is truly one of the most remarkable sights in the animal kingdom,’ he said.

‘None of the researchers had previously witnessed it in Irish waters.’

Humpbacks - which grow up to 50 feet and can weigh up to 40 tons - were almost hunted to extinction.

No one knows why whales leap out of the water in this sensational fashion. They could be doing it for fun or it could be some sort of whale microdermabrasion!

Whatever the reason, the unnamed whale dived in and out of the water for about 45 minutes to the joy of wildlife filmmaker Ross Bartley who captured the whole thing for a "Wild Journeys" series on Irish TV.

The show will tell the story of humpback whale migration between Ireland and the Cape Verdes islands.

Which may well be another avenue for Tourism Ireland to explore.

Whale watching in Wexford has quite the ring to it don't you think?!

See more shots of this magnificent whale. Click here.

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