Environment & Science

Blue whales spotted off Redondo Beach

 Blue whale swimming alone in the ocean.
Blue whale swimming alone in the ocean.
Denis Scott/Corbis

A pod of rare blue whales has been hanging out off the coast of Redondo Beach.

These blue whales aren't just hanging out, they're also leaping out of the water, or "breaching."

On Monday news helicopters captured live footage of the ocean giants within a few feet of kayakers and boaters.

Voyager Excursions skipper Craig Stanton says it's the second year in a row that blue whales have come within a mile of King Harbor. Stanton says he's been seeing an average of ten whales a day, and that the whales have even nestled up to his boat.

Blue whales are the world's largest mammal and can reach 108 feet in length. They weigh anywhere from 100-150 tons. For a little perspective, an adult elephant usually weighs between 3 and 7 tons.

The whales are exceptionally strong swimmers that usually cruise through the ocean at around 12 mph, but can reach up to 30 mph when frightened. This immense strength and speed also helps to propel the whales out of the water when they breach.