Video: Kayaker has rare encounter with a blue whale

Stretching for over 90 feet in length, and weighing more than 180 metric tons, the blue whale is, to the best of our knowledge, the largest animal that has ever lived. The creatures were hunted to near extinction in the early part of the 20th century, but appear to be making a comeback now.

A kayaker at Redondo Beach, California recently had the rare opportunity to see one of these magnificent creatures up close and personal, and lucky for us he was wearing a GoPro helmet cam at the time. The footage he captured is stunning, with some fantastic views of the whale, both above and below the water, giving viewers a true sense of the size of these animals.

I have to say, this guy is definitely braver than I am. Watching the whale from a kayak would be a humbling enough experience, but getting into the water, and seeing it pass by underneath, would be equal parts terrifying and awe inspiring.

Check out the video below.