The moment a giant humpback whale saves diver from shark

The moment a giant humpback whale saves diver from shark

A ME woman claimed in a viral video that a 50,000-pound humpback whale protected her from a shark attack while she was snorkeling near the Cook Islands in the South Pacific.

Though the shark is not shown in Hauser's video, local fishermen and divers have often seen the same shark swimming in the area.

In the footage, Nan is swimming next to the roughly 50,000-pound mammal when a 15ft tiger shark began to lurk nearby.

Nan Hauser said she didn't understand the actions of the 25-ton whale that she met face-to-face in the Cook Islands.

A whale biologist, Nan Hauser, from ME was snorkeling alongside the 50,000 lbs. whale when it noticed another underwater visitor lurking nearby.

James Sulikowski, a marine biologist and professor at the University of New England who has studied tiger sharks, said he's not convinced that the whale saved her life.

On the biologist's nearby research vessel, Hauser's team was anxious about her, abandoning their drone footage because, as Nan describes the moment, they "did not want to film my death". It seemed like hours.

'I tried to get away from him for fear that if he rammed me too hard, or hit me with his flippers or tail, that would break my bones and rupture my organs. "We know they hide seals under pectoral fins to protect them", Hauser explained to the Portland Press Herald.

"I didn't want to panic, because I knew that he would pick up on my fear".

A ME marine biologist says footage of her swimming with a humpback whale shows the large mammal protecting her from a tiger shark. I stayed calm to a point but was sure that it was most likely going to be a deadly encounter'.

Hauser says that the encounter could be evidence that whales are altruistic animals that feel compelled to save smaller creatures.

Nan said: 'They truly display altruism - sometimes at the risk of losing their own lives'.

"I never touch the whales that I study unless they are sick or stranded on the beach, she said".

Dolphins have been known to exhibit protective behavior and many stories have been told, but Hauser had never experienced something like that with a humpback.

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