A sign of the times.

A photo posted by E. Smith (@esmith_images) on

The term 'once in a lifetime opportunity' is tossed around quite a lot. People use it to describe occasions like swimming with dolphins, for example, which while awesome, you could probably do every day if you really wanted to.

Others use it even more loosely, bringing it out to describe a night on the town, or that moment when they come across a two-pack of frozen venison burgers marked down by 30% in the reduced aisle.

This dude, however, actually did miss out on a once in a lifetime opportunity when a humpback whale passed just a few feet from his boat. Why did he miss it? He was scrolling through his Facebook news feed. Or texting at least.

Experts suggest that lobtailing in humpback whales is a means of foraging. The hypothesis is that the loud noise causes fish to become frightened, thus tightening their school together, making it easier for the humpback to feed on them.

A photo posted by E. Smith (@esmith_images) on

The man who took the photographs was Erik Smith - check him out on Instagram - and he later spoke to CBS News about the ridiculous incident which took place off the coast of California.

"He could have been texting his mum in the hospital for all I know," he said. "But I thought it sucked that he missed such a wonderful moment happening just two feet in front of him.

"It sucked that he missed such a wonderful moment happening just two feet in front of him..."

"We're all guilty being buried in our phones, even me. You think life is better on your phone, but we’re missing what’s happening around us."

Some deep words from Mr. Smith there. If you are reading this on your phone then, best look up now, just in case something amazing really is going on in front of your eyes.

What's that? You're on a bus and the only thing two feet in front of you is a fat guy picking his nose? In that case, here's some more madness to help you kill the time...

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