Something Underwater Greets Boy

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The water moved in the reflection of the light as if there were something lurking beneath.

He then felt an object touch his feet which almost caused him to lose his balance. He clambered back up the stairs to get to where he thought he could be safe. He wanted to see what it was that almost grabbed him. But he wasn’t expecting how big it was.

A Legendary Creature

LisArt

Known by tourists for its beautiful beaches and picturesque landscapes is La Gomera in the Spanish Canary Islands. Visitors from every corner of the globe come for cool Atlantic water and the beautiful wildlife.

But no one had ever seen anything like this. But soon rumors would spread the legend of the creature that inhabited the shallow waters of the beach.

Beneath The Waves

pasosypedalesblogspot.com

Joel was enjoying a vacation at Valle Gran Rey tourist resort when he was met with a horrific sight.

He went to the resort with his parents and was keen to start surfing. But he wouldn’t have been so overjoyed if he knew what would be underneath him while he was in the water.

The Footage

YouTube / gekkovision

But thankfully Joel’s encounter with the creature was caught on camera. It would soon be put on YouTube and the video would go viral.

The video would accumulate more than 50 million views and would be circulating around every major social media platform. The video starts with a boy standing in the water.

Watching And Waiting

YouTube / gekkovision

Joel was having fun in the water, but something would soon want to join him. With the water splashing near Joel, something came out to greet him.

The water froths and something from the deep heads straight to young Joel. It then rears its smooth, alienlike head. But did Joel see it before it was too late?

An Illusion?

YouTube / gekkovision

But almost as quickly as it had appeared, it left. People were left questioning what they had just seen from the safety of the concrete walkway.

Maybe it was just a trick of the brain? The current could have given the illusion that something was there. But as they checked the footage, they could see it clear as day.

A Black Mass Rising

YouTube / gekkovision

But soon the black water would start to churn again. And then the animal was back.

The horrors of having something touch you that isn’t there is something nightmares are made of. And we could clearly see it on his face.

Crowd Warnings

The Touist Car

The people watching the event shouted at the boy to get out of the water. Some yelled that it was a shark. But what actually was it?

Now knowing something was there, we wanted to know what it was. He tried looking for it beneath the surface, maybe it was a whale?

What Was It?

The Indian Express

Humpback whales sometimes do go close to harbors. In fact, 300 of them have been spotted close to the New York Harbor in recent years.

They normally go close to the harbors looking for food. After assessing the situation, he knew that the creature couldn’t have been a 40-foot whale. It was much too nimble. He wanted to get closer.

An Unforgettable Scene

YouTube / gekkovision

Scrambling up the steps to get away and to get a better view of what was lurking there, Joel turns and is met with a sight that neither he nor the people filming will ever forget.

The enormous creature emerges fully from the sea and drags itself up the lowest step until it’s within touching distance of Joel.

Colossal

YouTube / gekkovision

At this point in the video, viewers can finally see the black creature’s full size as it lifts itself out of the ocean. The water rolls off its back as it rises from the waves and reveals a colossal, oily body.

Joel had never seen one of these creatures in person, let alone been accosted by one. People stood in shock and horror as they watched what happened next.

An Unearthly Creature

YouTube / gekkovision

The strange and almost unearthly creature lurches forward, finally revealing itself. There is a startled cry from the onlookers when the realization dawns on them.

It is apparent that it is, in fact, a huge manta ray, spanning at least 4 meters wide. But what does it want with Joel? And is it dangerous?

Outsized

PBS

The giant manta ray easily outsized the young boy. It was about triple his size. Onlookers resumed to yell at Joel to get back but his response left them dumbfounded.

Gone was the look of terror or surprise on his face. Instead, he was beaming. A bright smile plastered his face as he yelled back “It’s okay! She’s not what you think!”. They continued to watch in awe.

Sliding His Hand Inside

YouTube / gekkovision

Joel knew exactly what to do. He had been visiting this same spot for a few days now, and he knew exactly what the manta ray wanted.

The crowd watched as the giant manta ray opened its wide mouth slightly expectantly. To which Joel fearlessly placed his hand inside and opened his fist. The onlookers could barely believe their eyes.

Sensing Danger

Wikimedia Commons

They watched Joel put his hand inside the giant beast’s mouth with a sense of doom. A pin drop could be heard as people expected to witness the horrific scene of a young boy being tragically injured by a wild animal but that’s not what happened.

What happened next was simply unimaginable to everyone watching.

Wild Animal

YouTube / gekkovision

The wild animal held its mouth wide open and waited until Joel’s hand was safely retrieved before he chomped down on what was given to him.

There was almost an audible gasp of relief and awe from the crowd once they realized the majestic scene that was happening right before their eyes. How did this happen?

Tame

YouTube / gekkovision

This particular manta ray has devised an ingenious way to get an easy meal and appears to be completely unafraid of humans.

It brazenly comes up to tourists, who quickly get over the shock of having such an elusive creature so close and oblige to its feeding gesture. Joel has a fistful of food and begins to hand feed the colossal animal.

A Happy Manta Ray

Justin Henry

After he has fed it a few times, Joel gives it a stroke along its smooth back. The manta ray responds by waving its fins – as if to say “thank you.”

Then, the mysterious fish leaves to prowl around the harbor for a few minutes before returning for another session of petting. Then, he leaves his little friend and glides back out into the deep. But it wasn’t the last Joel saw of the manta ray.

Waiting For Morsels

Katharine Hunter

The people of Vueltas, the fishing harbor where the unbelievable scene took place, are no strangers to these majestic creatures.

In fact, the manta rays will often follow the fishing boats into the harbor in hopes of finding a few morsels of the discarded bycatch. But sailors and fishermen weren’t always so tolerant of these creatures.

An Omen

Sea Marine National Monument

Superstitions about manta rays persisted among sailors, and it’s not hard to see why. These enormous beasts are incredibly strong, and some sailors even said that to see one while out at sea was bad luck.

It was a popular misconception that manta rays could sink a ship by pulling on its anchors. But it wasn’t until 1978 that another side of these mysterious animals was revealed.

Friendly Giants

YouTube/ GoPro

A group of divers in California began to film their interactions with the manta rays in the bay, and many people were surprised to see that these animals were actually quite placid and were no threat to humans.

But it was only with the rise of social media that people began to record and share their own experiences with these fascinating fish.

Needing Help

YouTube / Oceano VideoSub

In one such video, a group of divers just off the coast of Costa Rica had an unforgettable experience.

As the divers explore the ocean floor, a giant stingray swims straight up to them. That’s when they notice that the ray is caught in a fishing net and needs their help. They carefully untangled the stingray and it’s soon on its way again. But this particular video highlights another danger that rays face.

Entanglement

YouTube / Oceano VideoSub

It’s an unfortunate reality that many rays get entangled in fishing nets. In fact, it happens so often that conservationists consider the species as vulnerable to extinction.

But footage of these beasts and their friendly interactions with humans may actually help with their conservation. Thanks to these videos, manta tourism is on the rise.

Tourism

YouTube / GoPro

Manta tourism not only raises awareness of the majestic manta ray’s plight but also raises money for the local economy. Manta tourism has had such an impact on Indonesia that officials banned manta ray fishing after realizing that manta tourism was far more profitable!

One hunted manta ray could fetch a price of around $500, whereas a live animal as a tourist attraction can earn approximately $1 million in its lifetime. And manta rays aren’t the only fish that has made such an impact.

Another Curious Creature

John Chisholm_Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries

In the peaceful waters of Wareham, Massachusetts, an unknown sea creature lurked who caused mayhem in the local town and the local police station bore the brunt of it.

Everyday calls poured into the station stating that they’d seen a huge and threatening-looking sea creature swimming around the area. But there was a problem.

Worried Locals

ABC News

While some callers gave a terrifying account of their sighting, others saw it splashing around haphazardly and were concerned about its well-being.

“I started receiving calls on my personal phone around 6:30 AM,” said Garry Buckminster, the director of the Department of Natural Resources in Wareham. “Everybody’s account was different but equally alarmed and concerned”.

Similar Reports

Patriot Ledger

Although the intention behind the calls differed, a few things remained the same. There was something different about the way this creature moved.

It was big and its fin pierced above the water like a great white. Its jerky movements made some afraid and others worried it was injured. Speculations of what the creature was spanned from an injured seal to a vicious shark, but no one could have suspected the real answer.

Sending Out Detectives

Wareham Department of Natural Resources

Eager to solve the mystery, Buckminster sent two DNR officers out to search the cove and find the unidentified creature urgently. It wasn’t long before they spotted the scary-looking fin in the water.

But as they got close, it became obvious that the animal wasn’t an injured seal or a terrifying shark, instead, it was the bizarre-looking sea creature called a Sunfish.

Sunfish

Murdoch University_Smithsonian Magazine

The officers confirm that the Sunfish was fine and that it’s not struggling or suffering, that’s just the way they swim – which can look quite clumsy from afar!

However, any new tourists around the area kept calling in and the station later had to release another statement to the public, telling them to stop calling in about the Sunfish. The creature became a beloved source of amusement for the town and raised awareness about the fish itself.

Raising Awareness

ABC News

As climate change, overfishing, pollution, and the other effects of industrialization affect the oceans now more than ever, conservation efforts have never been so important.

So, while Joel’s and the officer’s encounter makes for riveting viewing, stories like this raises much-needed awareness for these species. The more people who see these animals for the sensitive and friendly creatures they are, the better!

Beach Time!

YouTube/Selevins TV

7-year-old Hunter had begged his parents to take him to the beach.

So, when they finally pulled up to the stretching, sandy shore, he jumped out of the car with a loud cheer and raced for the waves. His schedule was packed full of sandcastles, shell collecting, and snorkeling – so he had to get started immediately!

It Stared Wonderfully

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It wasn’t only the weather that was perfect, there were hardly any people there. He had the beach to himself!

This was perfect. His mind raced with possibilities, and it only got better when his mom said he was allowed to wander a little farther than normal – which would end up a very bad idea.

Time To Find Something New

YouTube/Selevins TV

Hunter dragged his feet through the slushy sand and kicked at the waves as he wandered down the shore.

Normally, the snails, shells and driftwood would capture his attention, but this time there was a flash of bright blue he had never seen before.

What’s This?

YouTube/Selevins TV

He crept closer – his mind exploding with curiosity.

Maybe it was a pretty stone or a unique seashell? Hunter adored reading books about nature and marine life, so he was very confident. Part of him worried it was just a piece of trash. But as he leaned down and saw it move on its own, he knew it was alive.

So Strange

YouTube/Animal File Facts

It looked like an alien – with long tendrils coming off the main body.

It twitched and swayed in the shallow tide pool. Hunter had to show his parents. Maybe he had discovered a new species! It would turn out, however, that the little boy’s nature-knowledge would up saving his life.

Being Careful

YouTube/Selevins TV

He knew there were a lot of dangerous things in the ocean.

So, he scooped it up with his shovel and put the little specimen in his bucket. He raced to his dad yelling, “Looking what I found!” His dad leaned over, and his face turned pale with fear.

Terrified Father

YouTube/Selevins TV

“Put that down right now,” his dad said, as if Hunter was holding a ticking explosive.

Hunter felt the joy drain from his body. He set the bucket down with shaking hands. Something was very wrong. His dad looked out at the water with apprehension and said, “No swimming today.”

Local Warnings

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Hunter was dying to know what was going on.

It wasn’t until his dad pulled out his phone and check the local news did, he finally get some answers. It turns out the little creatures weren’t a new discovery. They were very well known – and very dangerous.

A Kind Of Slug

YouTube/Animal File Facts

It turned out the sea animals were called blue dragon slugs.

They were very toxic and should never be touched. Part of Hunter was terrified that he had found such a creature. The other half was still so curious. Thankfully, he was allowed to use his dad’s phone to learn more.

Better Safe Than Sorry

YouTube/Animal File Facts

The local government had issued a warning to everyone in the area – which is why the beach wasn’t very busy that day.

It’s another example of why education and awareness are so important!