A local journalist in Norway captured stunning video footage of a group of humpback whales hunting for herring in the ocean while under a brightly colored aurora borealis, or more popularly known as northern lights.
Harald Albrigtsen, a photographer working for the Norwegian Public Broadcasting (NRK), was able to record the event while testing his equipment that included a special camera capable of capturing footage in the dark without losing its image definition.
Albrigtsen is no longer a rookie when it comes to capturing such events on film as he had previously recorded several reindeer grazing under a similar aurora borealis that quickly became viral online.
In a recent interview, Albrigtsen recounted that he came across the humpback whales while he was carrying out tests on his equipment. He noticed that the marine mammals appeared to be playing with each other under the northern lights.
The photographer decided to come back to the spot the next day to see if he could get closer to the humpback whales. He was about to give up his hunt for the playful whales after unsuccessfully looking for them again but the animals decided to turn up again.
The stunning images were captured off the Kvaløya coast, located near the Norwegian city of Tromsø. The name of the coast itself, Kvaløya, translates to "Whale Island," which was used to honor the many whales that regularly visit the region in order to hunt for food, bask and play with each other.
"Northern lights" is a common name used to refer to a natural atmospheric phenomenon called aurora borealis, which typically occurs in the northern hemisphere of the Earth. Its southern counterpart is called an aurora australis.
The Italian astronomer Galileo is credited for naming the event after two well-known mythological deities: Aurora, the goddess of dawn in Roman mythos, and Boreas, the god of the north wind in Greek lore.
Auroras occur as a direct effect of solar activity that ejects a gas cloud, known as a coronal mass ejection, which then collides with the magnetic field of the Earth within two to three days.
The collision between these two natural forces produces charged particle currents in the sky that eventually flow along magnetic force lines found in the Polar Regions. As these charged particles come into contact with atoms of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere, they generate the brightly colored lights seen during auroras.