Sheer panic

One of the many attractions to exploring nature is the chance to see all of the wonderful wildlife this earth has to offer us up close and personal.

Such was the case with these two surfers off the coast of Dunedin in New Zealand:

Such a close encounter with whales in the open sea is a rare occurrence. At first they were scared, but soon they dared to venture even nearer to the gentle giants. One of the men reportedly was able to reach out and pet one of the whales. And after the friendly whales had satisfied their curiosity, they continued on their way.

A moment they'll never forget!