One man in San Francisco got the show of a lifetime when he passed by the famous Golden Gate Bridge and caught sight of several humpback whales swimming under the great structure.

Mauricio Santana posted four videos to Twitter that showed the huge mammals splashing around the the Golden Gate strait under the bridge on Sunday (16 July).

A local bay area news source, the Mercury News, said that humpbacks had been seen around the area before and many are following high tides carrying anchovies into the bay.

The whales are currently migrating north for the summer and will later head back south as winter sets in,

The IUCN had previously classified humpbacks as "endangered" on their red list but that has since been downgraded to "vulnerable" in the 1990s and now is of considered of "least concern".

Commercial whaling had once seriously depleted numbers of the humpbacks but became a protected species in 1966. These days the great creatures are rarely caught.