If an opportunity came about where you could paddle alongside a pod of orca whales, would you take it?

While your initial thought might be along the lines of, “well, duh,” you should remember these are the same animals that were recently found to be killing great white sharks, just to snack on their livers. But while they generally leave paddlers alone–although as this paddler found out, that’s not always the case–orcas have the ability to severely injure or kill humans if they feel threatened.

Despite the risks, the opportunity to see these beautiful whales up close in their natural habitat is too good for some folks to pass up. This includes Kari Schibevaag, who recently went standup paddling only a few feet from these magnificent animals in northern Norway. But she didn’t just stop there, this fearless gal proceeded to hop into the frigid water for a quick freediving session.

While we don’t recommend everyone try it, this footage from her encounter is nothing short of breathtaking.


Watch: Orca whale stalks paddler and then takes a nibble.

Watch: More orca encounters with paddlers.