Photographer Captures Incredibly Rare Sight Of Sperm Whales Sleeping

Photographer Captures Incredibly Rare Sight Of Sperm Whales Sleeping



Photographer Franco Banfi and his fellow divers were following this pod of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) when the giants suddenly seemed to fall into a vertical slumber. This phenomenon was first studied in 2008 when a team of biologists from the UK and Japan inadvertently drifted into a group of non-responsive sperm whales floating just below the surface.

Baffled by the behavior, the scientists analyzed data from tagged whales and discovered that these massive marine mammals spend about 7 percent of their time taking short (6- to 24-minute) rests in this shallow vertical position. Scientists think these brief naps may, in fact, be the only time the whales sleep.

Photo by Franco Banfi, a finalist in the 2017 Big Picture Competition.

You can see more of the Switzerland-based photographer’s underwater photography on his website and Instagram.





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