Do Seals Really Ride on the Backs of Whales?

For the second time this year a story has crossed the news desk at LiveOutdoors about a seal spotted riding on the back of a whale. 

Could this be a recently discovered aspect to inter-species relations where whales are treating seals like royalty? And how long exactly do these rides last?

In September, reports of a seal riding a whale came from a still photograph. A woman was out on a boat shooting pictures and came upon the sight when she was reviewing her shots. So this could have been a split second thing.

In the most recent story from, video was captured, which fully explains what’s going on here. Seals, as do dolphins and birds, like to follow behind and feast off the remains that the whale leaves behind. 

Often this gets them too close to the whale. The same can go for whale watching boats like this one, which is way too close to begin with. 

In the case of the seal, it’s directly underneath the leviathan, which lifts it up for just an instant with no intent on eating it whatsoever. And if they’re lucky, the seal gets one heck of a ride.  

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