verb - Spyhop is the action of whales and some sharks that consists of rising vertically out of the water, head first, and scanning the surrounding area.
A whale rises and holds position partially out of the water, exposing its head in a controlled and slow manner. Spyhopping can last for minutes at a time if the whale is sufficiently inquisitive about whatever (or whomever) it is viewing. Whales rely on their exceptional buoyancy control and positioning with pectoral fins to enable it to see whatever is nearby on the surface.
Spyhopping among Orcas may be to view prey species because the view is held steady for a longer period of time.
The Great white shark and blacktip reef shark have also been known to Spyhop. The Great white shark is one of only a few sharks known to regularly lift its head above the sea surface to gaze at other objects such as prey.
Spyhopping on video