Photographer Franco Banfi and his fellow divers were following this pod of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) when the Giants suddenly seemed to fall into a vertical slumber. This phenomenon was first studied in 2008 when a team of biologists from the UK and Japan inadvertently drifted into a group of non-responsive sperm whales floating just below the surface. Baffled by the behavior, the scientists analyzed data from tagged whales and discovered that these massive marine mammals spend about 7 percent of their time taking short (6- to 24-minute) rests in this shallow vertical position. Scientists think these brief naps may, in fact, be the only time the whales sleep.
Photographer Franco Banfi snapped an extremely rare photo of sperm whales sleeping
A behavior that was first documented only back in 2008
When a group of scientists drifted into a pack of completely still sperm whales
After further studies, they found that this collective nap occurs for approximately 7 percent of the whale’s life…
In short intervals of just 6 to 24 minutes