Humpback whales are among the largest, but gentlest and most intelligent creatures on the planet.
Humpback whales come to Tonga to breed and give birth because the waters are free of sharks and killer whales that feed on the baby whales.
The Polynesian island nation is also one of the few places in the world where humans can get into the water with humpbacks.
Although there are strict rules on how to approach whales, mammals, out of curiosity, will approach humans.
Their massive bodies dwarf ours, but they seem to know their own strength, as there are many instances of whales intentionally showing their gentle side by avoiding inflicting damage.
This very lucky swimmer was visited by a playful male hunchback, who was apparently rolling in for a belly rub.
He repeatedly rolled onto his back, exposing his bottom and swimming close to her, and the encounter went on for a full 18 minutes.
Their reunion was recorded on film, along with the ecstatic shouts of joy from the woman when it was all over …
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