++ Something Brushes Past Child In Water, He Looks Closer

Something Stirs

There was a disturbance in the water. No one knew what it was, but it was huge.

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Then whatever it was touched his feet. He managed to climb to safety and from there tried to get a better look at the thing in the water. But the size astounded him.

A Legendary Creature

La Gomera, situated in the Spanish Canary Islands, is well-known for its scenic landscapes and pristine beaches. Located just off the African coast, the cool Atlantic Ocean and the wildlife that inhabit it attract visitors from all over the world each year. 

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But no tourist had ever witnessed anything like this – until now. The enormous creature that frequents this particular beach has since become legendary.

Beneath The Waves

Valle Gran Rey tourist resort draws all kinds of people to its glorious beaches, but another, more unnerving sight was about to greet young Joel. 

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He was visiting the resort with his parents and couldn’t wait to get into the surf. But he had no idea what was lurking beneath the waves that day.

The Footage

Luckily, someone happened to catch Joel’s encounter with the mysterious animal on camera. The footage was posted to YouTube and it exploded.

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Over 50 million views later, the mesmerizing and strangely haunting video is still doing its rounds on Social Media. And it’s not difficult to see why. The video opens with a little boy, standing ankle-deep in the water.

Watching And Waiting

Joel splashed in the water, but he was attracting the attention of something. There was a stir in the ocean as it glided straight for him from the deep.

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Suddenly, the sea begins to boil as smaller fish scramble out of the beast’s path. A giant fin breaks the surface and slices through the water, and onlookers can just make out the black, smooth mass beneath it. Has Joel seen it?

An Illusion?

As suddenly as it began, the sea is still again. The people who witnessed it from the safety of the concrete stairs leading into the ocean scratch their heads. 

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Perhaps it was nothing – an illusion created by the ocean current. But still, they keep filming, not realizing what was about to unfold before their eyes.

A Black Mass Rising

After a few moments of calm, the ocean begins to churn again. Suddenly and without warning, the slick black mass begins to emerge again – this time much closer to Joel. 

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He feels something smooth brush against his feet and jumps back, startled. That terrifying moment of being touched by something unknown and hidden from view is the stuff nightmares are made of – and it’s all over his face.


Crowd Warnings

Spectators watched the encounter unfold in horror. They started to yell at the little boy. “Get back!”, “Be careful!”, “It’s a shark!” another yelled. But it wasn’t, and the boy knew that too.  

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He stood on the step for a moment, squinting his eyes, trying to make out what was swimming beneath the dark waters surface. He tried to spot the huge mass. Was it a humpback whale?

What Was It?

It’s not uncommon to find humpback whales swimming close to harbors. In fact, the New York Harbor has seen an influx in whale sightings over the last few years with over 300 whales spotted around the area in one single year. 

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Whales swim to harbors to eat. However, the longer the boy looked at the ocean, the more he realized a 40-foot whale wouldn’t be so agile as what he witnessed. He needed a better look. 

An Unforgettable Scene

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. 

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

Colossal

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.

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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

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.

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

Outsized

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. 

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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

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.

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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

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. 

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What happened next was simply unimaginable to everyone watching. 

Wild Animal

The wild animal held its mouth wide open.

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It waited until Joel’s hand was safely retrieved before he chomped down on what was given to him. Even to the most amateur eyes, this was clearly not normal behavior. How in the world did this happen?

Tame

This particular manta ray has devised an ingenious way to get an easy meal.

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It had learned to brazenly come up to tourists and calmly wait until they got over their shock. Then the colossal animal would open its mouth and keep waiting for the golden moment. It gets even better when everyone realizes that it was waiting for one more thing.

A Happy Manta Ray

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

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Then, the mysterious fish leaves to prowl around the harbor. But it wouldn’t be the last Joel or his audience would see of the manta ray. He had no idea that the one brief encounter was a small part of a much larger, and very amazing, puzzle that had taken hundreds of years to form.

Waiting For Morsels

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

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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

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. 

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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

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.

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But it was only with the rise of social media that people began to record and share their own experiences with these fascinating fish - which would be vital to future events that surrounded Joel’s feeding display.

Needing Help

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

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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

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.

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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, and the local boy knew that it was safe to feed them. But how did simple videos save an entire species from extinction?


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