By Curtis Mitchell
This is the hair-raising moment a massive humpback whale stuns a woman when it hits a paddleboard with its tail.
As Maria Emmerich floated off the shore of Wailea, Hawaii, USA, she was greeted by a pod of the huge mammals.
Plunging her camera into the crystal-clear waters, the whales’ eyes stare up at the world-renowned nutritionist as they head to the surface.
Thanks to the breaching the board rocks, creating a ripple of waves and shaking Maria from side to side leaving her shocked.
The rocking of the boat is closely followed by the humpback whale flicking its tail out of the water before landing on the side of the boat.
Maria said: “I wasn’t scared, but I did feel bad about being in their space.
“I never meant to paddle into their area.
“I respect wildlife and understand that animals deserve to have space.
“I have been around humpbacks a lot and believe they are gentle giants.
“More than anything I was overwhelmed with joy.”
Maria, who is originally from Wisconsin, was paddleboarding on her own as she likes the free time to think.
She said: “There was a mom with a calf.
“Then a male came and started to really make some waves.
“I was just overwhelmed with excitement.”