In Brief

Viral Video: Whale Smacks Girl in Head

The young woman hit by the whale did not experience any serious injuries. (Image credit: Screen shot from Jordyn R/<a href=""> YouTube </a>)

On most occasions, whale watching offers a calming opportunity to reconnect with nature and witness the graceful acts of Earth's largest modern mammals.

Until, that is, those graceful animals beat you over the head with their flipper. That was the unfortunate result of a whale-watching trip in a lagoon in Baja California, Mexico, on Saturday (Feb. 22), when 20-year-old Canadian Chelsea Crawford was smacked on the side of her head by a gray whale's flipper. Crawford managed to remain inside the small whale-watching boat, and did not experience any major injuries, the Canadian news channel CTV Atlantic reported on Wednesday (Feb. 26).

Crawford told CTV News that the fin felt "hard" and "boney," but that the smack did not seem to be a malicious act — rather, the whale almost seemed to be trying to play with those inside the boat. 

Follow Laura Poppick on Twitter. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Live Science Contributor
Laura Poppick is a contributing writer for Live Science, with a focus on earth and environmental news. Laura has a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Laura has a good eye for finding fossils in unlikely places, will pull over to examine sedimentary layers in highway roadcuts, and has gone swimming in the Arctic Ocean.