Two Humpback Whales Have Been Documented Having Gay Sex for the First Time Ever

Two whales near Hawai’i are putting the hump in humpback. For the first time ever, the species has been photographed having sex — and not just any sex, but gay sex.

Humans have been researching social behavior of humpback whales for decades, but their sexual behavior was previously undocumented, and “reports of penis extrusion by males are relatively rare,” according to a study published Tuesday in the Marine Mammal Science journal. In other words, much like Captain Ahab, we’ve been searching fruitlessly for that Moby Dick. (Sorry.)

That changed one fateful day in January 2022 in the waters off the coast of Maui, when scientists Lyle Krannichfeld and Brandi Romano snapped photos of two male humpback whales having sex. These whales appear to have gotten kind of freaky with it, too. According to the study, the two approached the boat and slowly circled it several times, remaining within approximately five meters of the surface throughout the whole encounter and allowing the researchers to photograph the whales up close.

Stephanie Stack, lead author of the paper, told The Guardian that the “discovery challenges our preconceived notions about humpback whale behavior,” and that until now, the sexual behavior of humpback whales had been “mostly a mystery.”

“While we have long recognized the complex social structures of these incredible creatures, witnessing the copulation of two male whales for the first time is a unique and remarkable event,” she said. Leave it to gays to provide groundbreaking representation.

The paper notes that homosexual behavior has been observed in other marine mammals, including walruses, various species of dolphin, and other species of whale. In bottlenose dolphins, “male-male sexual behavior” is well-documented as an important aspect of social bonding (known also as “kissing the homies goodnight). Researchers aren’t sure about the underlying reasons for the humpback whales’ behavior yet, though they speculate that “Whale B was mistakenly trying to mate with Whale A” (classic dilemma), that it was trying to reinforce a social bond, or that it was attempting to express dominance.

While the exact reasons for humpback whales having gay sex are yet to be determined, all we have to say at the end of the day is: love is love.

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