The ocean is a vast, wondrous, and downright terrifying place. An abundance of otherworldly creatures lurk deep beneath the water’s surface tempting our curiosity. Marine biologists spend their careers studying the wonders of the sea and even they can’t always predict what will happen amidst its depths. One marine biologist, in particular, was recently snorkeling with her team when she encountered a gentle giant who saved her life.
63-year-old Whale Biologist Nan Hauser was recently snorkeling in the South Pacific when a 50,000-pound whale approached her.
The giant humpback swam so close to Nan that she was able to capture some breath-taking footage.
All of a sudden, the massive mammal started getting physical with the biologist trying to push her underneath its pectoral fin and Nan was sure her life was at stake.
“I stayed calm to a point but was sure that it was most likely going to be a deadly encounter,” Nan said.
Nan’s research team was on a boat nearby fearing for her safety. They even stopped drone footage because they “did not want to film my death,” said the biologist.
She tried desperately to get away from the giant creature, fearing it would crush her.
“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. If he held me under his pectoral fin, I would have drowned,” Nan said.
Even in the face of what seemed like certain death, Nan remained calm.
“I didn’t want to panic, because I knew that he would pick up on my fear,” she added. “I feel a very close kinship with animals, so despite my trepidation, I tried to stay calm and figure out how to get away from him.”
But despite her attempts, the whale refused to let Nan go.
“I’ve spent 28 years underwater with whales, and have never had a whale so tactile and so insistent on putting me on his head, or belly, or back, or, most of all, trying to tuck me under his huge pectoral fin,” she said.
The humpback continued to push her for ten minutes or so before Nan noticed what she thought was another whale nearby. It turned out to be a 15-foot-long tiger shark.
That’s when Nan realized that the creature holding her down was trying to protect her from the shark.
After the danger had passed, the whale let Nan return safely to her boat and even peeked its head above water to make sure she was okay.
Nan later shared the unbelievable encounter on Facebook and people couldn’t believe her story.
I never touch the animals that I study but for 10 minutes this 50 thousand pound whale pushed me through the water and…
h/t The Epoch Times