Videos, photos, graphics: Everything you need to know about Norfolk’s newest resident - the Norfolk Whale

A humpback whale was spotted off the Norfolk coast. Seen here off the coast at Horsey. Picture by: Caroline Spinks

A humpback whale was spotted off the Norfolk coast. Seen here off the coast at Horsey. Picture by: Caroline Spinks - Credit: Caroline Spinks

A breaching humpback whale must be one of the most magnificent sights in the animal kingdom.

Humpback Whale Breaching from the Atlantic Ocean

Humpback Whale Breaching from the Atlantic Ocean - Credit: Getty Images/Fuse

A breaching humpback whale must be one of the most magnificent sights in the animal kingdom.

The humpback whale off Mundesley coast.

The humpback whale off Mundesley coast. - Credit: Archant

Although the Norfolk Whale has yet to be filmed in such extravagant glory, some of these videos show just how alluring the species can be.

But if you get too close it can be a little scary, and just think yourself lucky a humpback hasn't crashed into YOUR sailing boat.

Our whale is a member of the Atlantic population, one of the four large groups which makes up a global population estimated at 80,000 creatures.

The Norfolk Whale has captured the imagination of our region, with hundreds travelling to the coast in the hope of catching a glimpse of the magnificent creature, and it even has its own Twitter feed.

It is believed the whale has been attracted by increasing supplies of herring, harking back to a traditional Norfolk coastal industry.

As well as its spectacular acrobatics, the species is famous for its complex song, which scientists believe is the same among members of the Atlantic group.

While the typical song many last for 10-20 minutes, it is repeated for hours on end, and changes gradually from year to year.

Why do they sing, and how far does the song travel? Research is ongoing, but scientists believe it may be part of their mating behaviour, and that they communicate over thousands of miles. But with ever more human noise pollution in our seas, the concern is that their breeding may be hampered.

When the Norfolk Whale first appeared, Carl Chapman, Norfolk's cetacean recorder and a co-ordinator for the national Sea Watch Foundation, said it was the first recorded sighting of a humpback off Norfolk.

'It's not a surprise; I predicted this would happen as their numbers increase internationally, but it's certainly a surprise it has happened so soon. I predicted it would happen in the next five years,' he added.

Are you going our whale spotting? Download our guide to humpback whale behaviour, and our handy graphic explaining the key parts of a humpback and key facts, and a stunning image of a humpback breaching in the Atlantic.


You may also want to watch:


See how the story of the Norfolk Whale has developed over the past two weeks:

Most Read

October 29 - Humpback whale seen off Norfolk coast watched from Winterton, Horsey, and Sea Palling

October 30 - Afternoon update: Humpback whale spotted off east Norfolk coast

October 31 - Could the Norfolk whale make the east coast its home for winter?

November 2 - EDP whale watchers get hump, but no humpback, during search for elusive Scroby Dick

November 4 - Caister fishermen have to share waters with the Norfolk whale

November 5 - Norfolk's humpback whale captured in watercolours by local artist

November 11 - Humpback whale returns to Sea Palling and Waxham

November 14 - Photo Gallery: We searched for the whale but it was the one that got away

Read more about the humpback whale from National Geographic.

Here is what the Wildlife Conservation Society has to say about the humpback whale.

Also worth a read - the website of the International Whaling Commission.

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