humpback whale

A humpback whale swam near Quebec City and it was all caught on video

If residents along the Saint Lawrence river in Canada looked out their windows on Tuesday evening, they would have glimpsed an unusual sight; a huge whale was spotted swimming in the water.

The humpback whale swam all the way up from the Atlantic Ocean and managed to get to the bridges that connect the north and south shores of Quebec City.

In the short video, you can see the whale playing happily in the river next to the boat, the city bridges in the background.

The whale was spotted by fisherman on Tuesday afternoon before disappearing sometime around 8:30 p.m.

According to the Groupe de recherche et d'éducation sur les mammifères marins (GREMM), which reported the sighting, the appearance of a humpback whale so close to the city is a first.

"There have historically been reports of minke whales and beluga whales, but never whales of this size," the GREMM says.

They added that an adult humpback whale "measures between 13 and 17 metres long and can weigh up to 40 tonnes."

Although nobody knows exactly why the curious whale ventured so close to the city, GREMM suggests that it could have been following prey or become lost.

The research group took to Twitter to remind Quebec residents to stay a healthy distance away from the whale, writing, "in order to ensure the safety of the whale and minimize its stress, we ask the public to keep at least 100 metres away from it."

And while Canadians were asked to keep their distance and let the whale swim "freely," they were still pretty excited about its appearance in the river.

Plenty of humpback whales swim in the waters near Quebec, but they rarely make it past the village of Tadoussac — making the rare sighting even more exciting.

"Fun fact: there's a whale next to the bridge in Quebec right now," one resident wrote on Tuesday.

Vancouver residents have also spotted a number of whales recently, including some brave orcas that travelled close to Coal Harbour in the downtown area.

Although it's unclear why so many whales are choosing to stretch their flippers and swim closer to cities these days, it certainly is a treat for Canadians everywhere.

Lead photo by

Daniel Patry | The GREMM


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