1,000 km south, south east of Tokyo lies the Pacific archipelago of the Bonin Islands – the UNESCO World Heritage.
Whale watching is a popular activity on the archipelago, especially on the islands of Chichi-jima and Haha-jima. In the winter you can observe the Humpback Whales migrating there to raise their young, while early summer brings with it numerous Sperm Whales.
The Bonin Islands' Humpback Whale aka ~The Singing Whale~
Part of the Baleen Whale suborder, the Humpback Whale can grow up to 11-16m in length and 30t in weight.
In the summer months they feed in the waters around the North Pole, and in the winter they migrate to warmer climates such as Hawaii, Okinawa or the Bonin Islands to give birth, breed and raise their young. Around spring time they head back towards the North Pole, continuing their migration cycle. The Humpback Whale's song can be heard all throughout the ocean floor for hundreds of miles.
The Sperm Whale aka ~The Deep Sea Diver~
Part of the Toothed Whale suborder, the males of the species can grow up to 16-18m in length and 50t in weight, while the females grow up to 12-14m in length and 25t in weight. This makes the Sperm Whale the largest species of its suborder.
The Sperm Whale evolved with the unique ability to navigate ocean depths up to 2000m, which allows it to feed even on Giant Squids. In recent years, squid researchers deployed an underwater camera deep into the Bonin waters thought to be inhabited by Sperm Whales, managing to record the world's first images of a live Giant Squid.
Presented by Toshio Minami and Masaaki Chijimatsu / e-Photography
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