As the whale watchers were looking away, a sneaky whale popped up behind them.

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Luckily, director and photographer Eric J Smith captured the hilarious moment on tape, and it quickly went viral. The marine life enthusiasts were all patiently waiting in their boat with the cameras on, but they nearly missed the spectacular sight as the massive whale decided to surprise them.

The group was offshore Baja California in Mexico, waiting for a chance of a lifetime, but they were all looking the wrong way when the whale popped up its head behind them. The animal lovers got lucky, though, as they turned their heads just in time to grab some adorable snaps with the magnificent creature.

Just like it knew the curious sightseers had missed the first opportunity, the humpback whale offered them another glimpse of itself. This time, the moment was even celebrated by some of the whale watchers.

Photographer Eric Smith, who witnessed the whole scene, couldn’t believe what he saw. “She slowly and silently stuck her head high above the water to look around,” the 49-year-old said. “When everyone turned around, she quickly sank below the surface. Cheering and hysterical laughter ensued.

“I was in another panga [boat] a few dozen feet away and caught the moment right before everyone realized she was so close. Whale photography involves a lot of luck, but the key is to always be on alert and ready.”

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