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Watch: Whale in Argentina swims towards paddleboarder and gives a thumbs up

A paddleboarder’s close encounter with a giant southern right whale in Argentina’s Golfo Nuevo shocked netizens after the video went viral on social media.

The rare incident was filmed in Puerto Madryn when the curious whale lightly pushed the woman onto the paddleboard and gently pushed her forward before swimming directly below. “I think today I made the best whale drone video of my life,” photographer @maxijonas tweeted while sharing the clip showcasing her unexpected interaction with the whale.

Watch the video here:

The 54-second video instantly went viral on social media and garnered over 1.6 million views, with many comments on the friendly whale. However, some also called the paddler lucky because she was not injured by the marine mammal.

“I don’t know if I would be paralyzed with fear or hypnotized by fear! One user wrote on the viral clip while another commented, “Love this sweet little nudge from the whale.” What a remarkable meeting!

“These are rare times, this is something that is forbidden,” Oscar Comes, a local nautical tourism operator, told the Guardian. “It’s not like you can go by kayak, stand up board, boat or whatever, to look for the animal.”

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