Man fixated on his cell phone doesn't realize a whale is beneath him

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Man Distracted By Phone Misses Whale Only Feet Away From Him

Many of us have a habit of constantly toying with our phones, and that sometimes leads to missing what's going on around us -- but rarely does checking your phone mean you're missing a potentially once-in-a-lifetime sight. Unless you're this dude, of course.

A photo making the rounds on Instagram shows the top half of a humpback whale reaching above the water's surface. It's a beautiful image -- but the background is getting just as much attention as the whale.

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Whale watching gone wrong - Video in #1 slide, be careful if embedding bottom/middle, will autoplay
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Man fixated on his cell phone doesn't realize a whale is beneath him
A sign of the times. Hey dude! Stop texting. There's an enormous humpback whale two feet from your boat! Shot this a couple weeks ago a mile from Redondo.
Humpback whales feed at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off Cape Cod near Provincetown, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. There has been a rise in the number of Humpback whales spotted this year. Humpbacks, which are about the length of a school bus and weigh 40 tons, use teamwork to round up tiny fish like the sand lance by blowing nets of bubbles to scare the schools into tighter groups. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
In this June 2014 photo provided by Gotham Whale, a humpback whale breaks through the surface of the Atlantic Ocean just off a beach on the Rockaway peninsula near New York City. Humpbacks have been approaching the city in greater numbers than in many years; there were 87 sightings in nearby waters from a whale-watching boat in 2014. (AP Photo/Gotham Whale/Dennis Guiney)
In an undated photo provided Monday, Aug. 21, 2012, by Captain David Anderson's Dolphin and Whale Safari in Dana Point, Calif., spectators watch whales off the coast of southern California. Endangered blue whales, the world's largest animals, are being seen in droves off the northern California coast, lured by an abundance of their favorite food _ shrimp-like creatures known as krill. Whale-watching tour operators are reporting a bumper harvest of blue whales, orcas, humpbacks and binocular-toting tourists eager to witness the coastal feeding frenzy. (AP Photo/ Captain David Anderson's Dolphin and Whale Safari)
In this April 18, 2103 photo provided by the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, the fluke of a humpback whale named Ishtar by researchers is shown after she washed up on an East Quogue. N.Y. beach. Isthar’s cause of death is still under investigation but she had massive cranial damage consistent with a ship strike. Researchers never electronically tagged Ishtar but scientists and whale enthusiasts used the distinctive markings on her fluke to identify her. (AP Photo/Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation)
In an undated photo provided Monday, Aug. 21, 2012, by Captain David Anderson's Dolphin and Whale Safari in Dana Point, Calif., spectators watch whales off the coast of southern California. Endangered blue whales, the world's largest animals, are being seen in droves off the northern California coast, lured by an abundance of their favorite food - shrimp-like creatures known as krill. Whale-watching tour operators are reporting a bumper harvest of blue whales, orcas, humpbacks and binocular-toting tourists eager to witness the coastal feeding frenzy. (AP Photo/ Captain David Anderson's Dolphin and Whale Safari)
In this photo provided by marine wildlife center Ecomare on Texel island, northwest Netherlands, on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 a stranded humpback whale is seen. Rescuers have called off attempts to save the whale that beached itself on a sand bank off the northern Dutch coast near Den Helder, 90 kilometers (55 miles) north of Amsterdam, saying the animal is too weak to survive. (AP Photo/ Ecomare) MANDATORY CREDIT
FILE - This undated file photo shows a humpback whale jumps out of the waters off Hawaii. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is launching a review of whether it should take North Pacific humpback whales off the endangered species list. NOAA Fisheries is responding to a petition filed by a group of Hawaii fishermen saying the whale should no longer be classified as endangered because its population has steadily grown since the international community banned commercial whaling nearly 50 years ago. (AP Photo/NOAA Fisheries, file)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: A Humpback whale lunge feeding off NYC's Rockaway Beach with the Freedom Tower in the backgroundon September 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Artie Raslich/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 31: Humpback whale breaches 3 miles off of Rockaway Beach on August 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Artie Raslich/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 03: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission with alternate crop.) Humpback whale blows into the morning sunlight creating a rainbow of colors off of Rockaway Beach with One World Trade Center in the background on September 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Artie Raslich/Getty Images)
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In the groan-worthy photo, a man glued to his smartphone sits on the sailboat. What makes it so interesting and baffling is that the man is just feet away from the spot where a whale is surfacing.

The shot was captured by photographer Eric Smith near Redondo Beach, California. That area is known for whale watching.

Smith said he snapped about five pictures of whales with the same boat in the vicinity, and in each image the man's eyes are trained on his phone.

The photographer acknowledged that he too was guilty of looking at his phone quite a bit, but pointed out that oftentimes beautiful moments are missed due to our obsession with the beloved devices.

Speaking of wild animal news, did you hear that the 'loneliest orca' is potentially going to be set free? Lolita, a killer whale, has spent the last near half-century in captivity, and currently resides at the Miami Seaquarium in Florida.

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Lolita the Orca
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