In the oceans' inky depths lurk one of the largest animals on Earth. What animals, you might ask? Well, more than 40 species of whale spend their lives beneath the waves, surfacing only to breathe.

Interestingly enough, the more we learn about whales, the more complex they appear to be. Scientists at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa have discovered, for example, that their huge brains have a built-in heating system to ensure they function properly in cold seas. We also know that whales have a large repertoire of sounds, which can vary according to geographical location.

However, today we’d like to show you the magnificent and almost surreal pictures of whales taken during the sunset by the professional photographer Mary Parkhill.

Bored Panda reached out to Mary to find out a little bit more.

"Photography has always been a passion, fueled by curiosity of the world around us.

My inspiration comes from Alaska... nature & wildlife. The fresh, crisp air, rugged mountains, and the beautiful moments that only nature can give us."

More info: Instagram | Facebook | marysmark.com

#1

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

And this is how the Indigenous Native People came up with the narrative for the "Orca, the Sun Bringer" story.

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#2

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

🐬Spyhopping is when cetaceans and sharks "tread water" with their pectoral flippers at or above the surface of the water to see and hear better, usually in the search of prey🦭

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#3

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

Breaching (& the subsequent splash-down) is one way they rid themselves of external parasites.

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#4

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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Linda HS
Community Member
5 months ago

That's not an orca!

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#5

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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DidiRomski
Community Member
5 months ago

Wow, doesn't look like a photo, more a painting

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#6

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

Like a knife through butter.

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#7

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

🦈Da-dun, da-dun, da-dun da-dun da-dun🦈

#8

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

Orange you glad that they included this gorgeous picture?

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#9

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

Did you know that a happy, healthy orca has an firm, erect dorsal fin and an injured or depressed (read captive) on has a soggy, droopy one? Especially the males. (Seriously folks, I'm not being creepy, it's a real thing.)

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#10

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

🐋And that's the only kind of "whale tail" that I like to see🐳

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#11

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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CindyLouWho1209
Community Member
5 months ago

Love it! Beautiful tail!

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#12

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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Teri Miller
Community Member
5 months ago

All right class turn to page 53, today we are going to read about birds and flying. Settle down Toby, we are NOT flying today!

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#13

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

🦆This one looks like a duck about to take flight🕊

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#14

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

The female orca is about 25 ft/7½m long, 8,000 lbs/3629kg and live up to 90 years. She's pregnant for 15-18 months. African elephants have the longest gestation at 22 months.

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#15

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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Melody Lanzatella
Community Member
5 months ago

Beautiful HEALTHY UPRIGHT fins!!

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#16

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

This one also shows the difference between males' dorsal fins (the taller, straighter two) and the females' (smaller, "hooked backwards" shaped two).

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#17

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Orcas are called bulls, cows and calves, just like cattle. Males and females are sexually dimorphic, i.e. look different from each other.

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#18

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

Here you can see the difference between male/female dorsal fins...male in foreground and two females in the background.

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#19

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

🎼🎶We All Live in a Yellow Submarine🎵🎶

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#20

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

The once predictable pattern of orca migration has apparently degenerated into desperately following food sources. Global warming strikes again😿

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#21

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Looks like Steve Martin's "arrow through the head" gag 😹

#22

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

PSA: It's better not to frequent the "SeaWorld" type shows that treat these amazing animals so horribly in pursuit of the almighty dollar. ⚠️🥺You don't even want to read about Shamu(s), it's heartbreaking 😿⚠️ It's better to find a "live watch" app or a responsible whale-watching tour.

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#23

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

Male Orcas are 30 feet/9m and up to 16 tons/14515kg and live up to 60 years. And don't put up with no Bull.

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#24

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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Teri Miller
Community Member
5 months ago

Sailing into the sunset. Or sailing away from the sunrise. What am I a traffic cop?

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#25

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Whale, whale, whale, look what the tides brought in... it's a partycrasher! Who let that humpback into the orca party? They're not a very good ORCAniser.

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#26

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

🐳There she blew!🐳

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#27

Photographer Combines Whales And The Sunset, Resulting In True Works Of Art In Our Eyes

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
5 months ago

Total travel poster potential (say that 5 times fast😹)