Humpback whale scares paddlers with love tap

A humpback whale checks out a boat full of tourists in this video still. (Hawaii News Now)

Humpback whales like to say Happy Valentine's Day too, apparently, but when a marine beast that can reach up to 19 metres in length gives you a love tap — it can be scarier than the knock of true love.

The canoers in a YouTube video uploaded by user Laurent Lebihan learned that lesson while videotaping their whale-watching excursion.

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In this video, the water laps peacefully as they glide along until Bam! The front of the boat is smacked by what turns out to be a whale breaching the surface.

It's a rare treat to encounter a whale close up. If these paddlers had been able to see into the depths of the ocean, perhaps they would have noticed the whale rising up from below, headed straight for them, like the main character in Life of Pi.

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This humpback isn't the first marine creature to have its human encounter hit the web. Last fall, an image appearing to show a friendly stingray mortifying three women went viral online. Online commenter said the image, described as a stingray 'photobomb,' was most likely taken at a tourist attraction that boasts close encounters with stingrays, called Stingray City.