Drone footage on Thursday, September 23, captured 15 male humpback whales following a female in the waters off Australia's Queensland state in what scientists call a "heat run."
"I was so excited I couldn't even sleep for that night after this happened," said Griffith University marine scientist and whale researcher Olaf Meynecke, who has spent the last 12 years researching the behavior and well-being of humpback whales.
He said normally humpback whales stay in smaller pods of two or three unless feeding, but this phenomenon can happen during their southern migration and mating period.
"It's hard to say whether they are actually chasing the female or whether she's instigating the chase and the competition between the males," he said. "It's a competition for the female to see which male is actually suitable to mate with."