Watch As Diver Gets Surrounded by 50 Orca in Spectacular Underwater Footage

A diver got surrounded by 50 orca in Norway as they gathered to feast on fish, spectacular underwater footage shows.

The footage was taken in Skjervoy, northern Norway, by nature movie photographer Didier Noirot and posted to his YouTube channel, Subimagery Productions Sarl.

Noirot told Newsweek that this particular footage was taken in November, when huge numbers of orcas swarm through the fjords to take advantage of herring that escape from fishing nets. Noirot embarked on several long journeys to capture the footage, which is documented in the full video, here.

Orca underwater
In the footage, 50 orca can be seen swarming around a fishing boat. The whales gather there to feast on fish. Didier Noirot/SUBIMAGERY PRODUCTIONS SARL

"I left France by van, towing my rib up to Skjervoy in northern Norway where the action takes place," he said. "It is a 8,000 kilometers round trip from where I live in France...Six days travel one way...Once in Skjervoy, I rented a 46 foot sailboat...and sailed to look for orcas in the fjords. To help me, I asked three friends to join me for the trip."

In the footage, orca dorsal fins can be seen emerging from the water, as they begin to gather for the feeding frenzy.

Fishermen can be seen in the background as the orca begin to swarm around the fishing nets. Other whale species such as humpback whales can also be seen joining the feast.

Footage taken underwater shows dozens of orca swimming through the depths and catching the escaped fish in their mouths.

Orca underwater
A picture shows orca waiting below a fishing boat, ready to snap up fish. Orca have learnt that fishing boats provide an easy meal. Didier Noirot/SUBIMAGERY PRODUCTIONS SARL

There are an estimated 3,000 orca living in the Norwegian and Barents Sea. They are most commonly seen in the country from November to January.

Orca are socially complex and intelligent animals. Many pods have figured out how to use fishing boats for buffet-style meals, when dead fish fall through the nets, or fall off the decks. This knowledge is then passed down from grandmothers to the younger members of the pod, to the point where it becomes tradition. In the footage, the orca can be seen enjoying the easy meal as the fish fall down into the depths.

Noirot is known for diving with large animals, such as sharks, whales and crocodiles. He said that in previous encounters, orca have always been "quite elusive," which is why he journeyed to this particular area to see them.

Despite the huge amount of orca swimming in the area, Noirot said there is "no special preparation" needed for these kinds of dives.

"The water is not extremely cold (+ 42.8° F) and orcas are not dangerous to divers, or any human," he said. "Some people in the Hollywood business always wanted to show some animals as dangerous like orcas or sharks, but in fact they are not."

The footage has recently resurfaced after it was posted to a Reddit thread. One social media user commented on the footage, saying: "Oh hell no the more I understand how intelligent they are the more im petrified of these."

However in the footage, the orca seem oblivious to Noirot's presence. There have been no recorded instances of a wild orca harming a human—the only known injuries and fatalities are related to captive orca.