A video of a man riding an endangered whale shark has left people on social media bewildered and irked. The footage doing rounds on social media platforms has many in disbelief, while others are demanding punishment for the man pulling off the daring stunt.
The viral video begins with the man sitting on the edge of a boat, watching over a pair of sharks, while someone records him from behind. It then hows him jumping off the boat and landing on the back of the shark and grabbing its dorsal fin for support. The video was originally shared on Snapchat, before spreading across platforms.
The whale shark is considered to be the largest fish in the sea, and is listed as an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. In the video, the animal is seem incredibly calm, and doesn’t appear to get agitated despite the approaching boat.
Watch the video here:
According to Gulf Today, the incident took place in Yanbu, a major Red Sea port in the Al Madinah Province of western Saudi Arabia.
Gulf News identified the daredevil man as Abu Badi, and said he was accompanied on the boat by some of his friends. He saw the whales swimming next to the boat and jumped on one of them to take a ride. One of the men can be heard shouting, “Careful, it can swallow you.”
However, according to National Geographic, the spices’ favourite meal is plankton. “They scoop these tiny plants and animals up, along with any small fish that happen to be around, with their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to the water’s surface,” its website stated. “Although massive, whale sharks are docile fish and sometimes allow swimmers to hitch a ride.”