By Hayley Pugh 

Tourists were left stunned when a huge humpback whale performed a backflip just inches from their tiny boat.

The group were trying to photograph a mother and her calf, when a gigantic male approached them.

PIC BY Jodi Frediani / CATERS NEWS

It disappeared out of sight for a few seconds before suddenly launching out of the water and performing an impressive back flip – much to the amazement of the people on board.

The whale even raised a fin before leaving as if to say bye to the stunned tourists.

Jodi Frediani captured the spectacular sequence of shots during the trip in Monterey Bay, California.

PIC BY Jodi Frediani / CATERS NEWS 

She said: “We were watching a humpback mother and calf with a male escort.

“The male suddenly came up very close to our small tender. At first it looked like he was doing a spy hop, which just means popping his head out of the water so he could get a better look at our boat with both eyes, but it became a half-breach.

“However, as he fell over backwards it morphed into a back flip with his flukes flying out of the water.

PIC BY Jodi Frediani / CATERS NEWS 

“We were all stunned silly. I have never seen a whale do that move, never mind right in front of me. And our guide who’s studied and photographed humpback whales for more than 25 years said he’d never seen a whale do a back flip like that either.

“You just never know what may be in store.”