Having the largest brain of any animal on Earth, sperm whales are what you call wondrous creatures. They are the largest toothed whales and largest toothed predators as well. Females and young males live together in groups while mature males live solitary lives outside of the mating season. Interestingly, females cooperate to protect and nurse their young, giving birth every four to twenty years. These caring creatures love and care for the calves for more than a decade. Sperm whales can live for more than 60 years, but there is one question that pops up – Do they actually sleep? One underwater photographer has the loveliest proof that sperm whales do indeed sleep. Or better said, they actually take naps. Pro underwater photographer Franco Banfi was the one who snapped the extremely rare photo while following a pack of sperm whales in the Caribbean Sea, near Dominica Island.
Franco is an award-winning Wildlife Photographer, specialized in marine wildlife and underwater environments, expeditions leader, and coauthor of 3 books about the sea. Here are some of these almost surreal images among other ones that Franco captured while swimming with diver Sabrina Belloni.
More info: Franco Banfi | Instagram (h/t: demilked)
Suddenly, they stopped moving and decided to take a nap, Franco explained.
This behavior of sperm whales was first documented only back in 2008.
It was first seen when a small group of scientists drifted into a pack of completely still sperm whales.
Later on, after they did numerous studies, they found that this collective nap occurs for around 7 percent of a sperm whale’s life.
Their naps are very short, from 6 to 24 minutes. This, as Franco explains on his Instagram photo, could mean that sperm whales are actually “the least sleep-dependent mammals known.”
Diver Sabrina Belloni posed next to these majestic creatures.
As you can see, these underwater creatures are pretty gigantic compared to humans.
If you want to find out more facts about them, watch the video below: