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Man Dives Into the Water to Greet What He Thought Was a “Harmless” Basking Shark, Only to Find Out Otherwise

If you have watched the iconic childhood animated movie “Finding Nemo” or the blockbuster “Jaws,” you may be familiar with the fear that sharks evoke in people. Sharks have long been considered intimidating and daunting creatures due to their predatory nature and the media’s perception. Like any other marine animals, sharks have various species, some of which are known to be harmless while others are more aggressive.

Given the general perception that people have on sharks, it is no surprise that many would be terrified at the sight of a shark’s fin in the water. For most, their impulse reaction will likely be to flight, rather than fight, but for other more adventurous people, the thought of getting up close with a shark is a thrilling idea.

That was exactly the case when a man decided to dive into the Pacific Ocean to greet a harmless basking shark. The brave man, who was referred to by his friends as Ryder, confidently jumped into the water after spotting the shark. However, upon diving, it became increasingly clear that the shark was not the harmless species that they initially thought.

Basking sharks are known to be the second-largest shark species after the whale shark, but their size and appearance are the exact opposite of their behavior. This shark species is often referred to as the gentle giant, as its large mouth is used to catch zooplankton, which serves as their primary food. As such, basking sharks are harmless to humans and have, in fact, been seen to tolerate swimmers or divers.

Given their reputation as gentle giants, Ryder dived into the water without hesitation to mingle with the creature. Once he got up close with what he thought was the basking shark, however, he realized that he was actually swimming towards a great white. Great whites could not be any more different than basking sharks as they are much more predatory and can get aggressive when threatened. In short, it would not be a good idea to swim in the vast waters with a great white.

Fortunately, for those who are curious, one of Ryder’s friends was able to capture the entire incident on camera, which the diver then posted on his TikTok account, Rydersonthestorm, on September 26. The clip quickly garnered views from users, who had mixed reactions of fear and amazement and has since been circulated online.

With the unexpected twist of events, you can only imagine how Ryder may have reacted and felt at that moment. In the video, Ryder is seen swimming hurriedly and frantically back to the boat to get back to safety, telling his friends that it was a bad idea. The cameraman simultaneously calls on him to get back to the boat, when Ryder shouts that he accidentally touched the shark.

Since being posted on the weekend, the viral TikTok video has amassed over 800,000 views and 14,000 shares, with users commenting their reactions. After all, it’s not usual to find a man willingly jump into the water after seeing a shark fin.

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