Diver Sees Massive Whale, Then The Unbelievable Happens

It was a bright summer day and marine biologist Nan Hauser had gone out on a dive mission. She was an extremely experienced diver, but this time she came across something unexpected: an enormous humpback whale. Even though this species is usually friendly, this whale was out of her senses and began pushing her around. Nan was terrified at first, but she was left speechless when she discovered the true reason behind the animal’s behavior. Don’t miss this thrilling story!

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

#25. Nan, The Whale Expert

Nan Hauser is a marine biologist and wildlife expert who has dedicated her career to the study of the ocean, especially whales and dolphins. Throughout her 28-year career, she has gone on countless diving expeditions, mainly around the Caribbean Sea.

Photo: Courtesy of nanhauser

She has carried out most of her research and expeditions near the Cook Islands, which are famous for its vast whale population. She has given many lectures on the behavioral patterns of the world’s different species of whales and appeared on many shows on Discovery Channel and National Geographic to share her diving experiences.

#24. A Diver’s Paradise

Near 2005, Nan decided to settle down in Rarotonga, one of the main cities of the Cook Islands. This way, she wouldn’t have to travel as much each time she went on a diving expedition.

Photo: Courtesy of International Traveller

One day, Nan woke up early and got ready for another of her diving missions. Just a few minutes after she submerged into the water, she came across a huge humpback whale who was swimming towards the surface. You won’t believe what happened next!

#23. 50-Ton Creature

Nan had seen humpback whales hundreds of times and the truth was that they are usually friendly creatures. However, this 50-ton, 60-foot-long beast was swimming rapidly towards her, so she had to be careful!

Photo: Courtesy of Facts and Secrets

Nan had plenty of experience dealing with marine creatures, so she knew she didn’t have to antagonize with the whale no matter what. At first, the whale just swam near her and reached the surface for some air, but moments later, she got extremely close to her. Nan realized that the whale was behaving in an unusual way, but little did she imagine what was about to happen.

#22. Way Too Close

The diver had no intention of coming close to the whale nor of making contact with her. But as she confessed in an interview, “instead of swimming past me, he came right toward me, and he didn’t stop coming towards me until I was on his head“.

Photo: Courtesy of Facts and Secrets

The whale pushed the diver onto its head, just as you can see in the image above. Nan was obviously terrified. She didn’t even have any diving equipment other than her snorkel and camera. She was praying that the animal would stay calm… but would it?

#21. Her Heart Missed A Beat

Just a few seconds later, the wale started rolling in the water and poked Nan. Sure, the creature meant no harm, but if a 5-ton creature nudges you, I bet it hurts at least a bit! But the animal continued to behave in the most unexpected way, and it did this.

Photo: Courtesy of Post Fun

She tucked the diver under its fin just as it tossed her out of the water. Nan was left with no choice but to grab tight to the fin and not let go. She knew that panicking would only make things worse, but she was both scared and shocked to her very core.

#20. Prepared For The Worst

The whale was getting more aggressive and she didn’t know what to expect. She nudged and pushed her around for nearly 10 minutes, but for Nan, it felt like a lifetime. In fact, she then said in an interview that by that time, she was prepared to lose her life.

Photo: Courtesy of DorcaAlert

Her testimony is truly spine-chilling.

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 told NPR.

#19. As Scared As Ever

Nan didn’t know what else to do to hold her horses, and the truth was she had never been so scared in her life. “I didn’t want to panic because I knew that he would pick up on my fear“, she admitted a few days after the incident.

Photo: Courtesy of DorcaAlert

But even though it was hard for her to keep calm, she tried to figure out a plan to get away from the giant beast as quickly and safely as possible. She knew that her team was just a few meters away, but the bottom line was that there wasn’t much they could do to face a 50-ton whale!

#18. Turn Off The Camera!

Do you know what the crazy part is? The whole situation was recorded on video! Nan and her team were out in the ocean for research, so one of her mates had been filming her underwater the whole time. But do you know what’s even crazier? The diver who was in charge of the camera had never seen a whale before, so he didn’t even realize that its behavior was unusual!

Photo: Courtesy of DorcaAlert

Meanwhile, the rest of the team who was waiting above the surface were also filming the events with a drone, and they were deeply worried about Nan’s safety. So much so that they turned off the camera. They were worried she would die and they didn’t want to have to film that.

#17. They Were Not Alone

The whale kept pushing Nan further from the boat, so the chances of swimming back kept getting smaller. But little did she know that the worst was yet about to come. Moments later, she spotted a second whale heading towards her.

Photo: Courtesy of DorcaAlert

As if all this weren’t enough, this second whale seemed to behave oddly too. It kept slapping its tail against the water, God knew why. But then, a third creature appeared from the depths of the ocean. Was it a third whale? Slide next and find out!

#16. Danger On The Horizon

Nan let go of the whale’s fin just as the second whale was nearing them. She attempted to swim away from both of them towards the boat’s direction, but when she looked back to check if the whales were following her, she was horrified by what she saw.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

She had figured that the third creature was also a whale, but she noticed that the animal wasn’t moving up and down like whales usually do, but from side to side. Nan was a wildlife expert and was familiar with the behavioral patterns of marine animals, so she knew just what type of creature it was.

#15. The Deadliest Of Predators

Nan soon realized that the two whales were the least of the threats, as the animal that was lurking by was the most dangerous fish in the world: a tiger shark. She was fully aware of just how aggressive these sharks were.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Tiger sharks can weigh up to 1 ton and are usually 25 feet wide. They can usually be spotted in the warm Caribbean waters, but they don’t just bite and leave as white sharks do, but kill their preys instead. Can you imagine yourself in Nan’s shoes now?

#14. Time Was Ticking

Nan was now surrounded not by one, not by two, but by three giant creatures, one of which fed on humans. Now, the two whales sounded like the least of problems; her attention was drawn to the shark that could kill her.

Photo: Courtesy of Charles Darwin Foundation

The diver and the cameraman were left with only one option: they had to swim towards the research boat as quickly as they could, and they knew time was ticking. But would they make it?

#13. Safe And Sound

Luckily for them, Nan and the cameraman cheated death heroically and reached the boat in less than a minute. As they reached the boat, they warned the rest of the team that a shark was lurking by. She was worn down and quite bruised, so she had trouble pulling herself to the deck on her own.

Photo: Courtesy of The Dodo

Once the team helped her to the deck, she drank some water and caught her breath. Once she was safe, she started thinking about what had just happened. Suddenly, she connected the dots and realized why the hunchback whale had acted so aggressively.

#12. Connecting The Dots

Once she had calmed down, Nan watched the footage of her misadventure, and she now understood what the whale had been trying to do. Apparently, the whale had tried to warn her that a shark was getting near.

Photo: Courtesy of Post Fun

Nan and the cameraman were both lucky to be alive and they were equally thankful that the whale stood on harm’s way for their sake. But just as they were preparing to go back to the coast, this happened.

#11. Checking She Was OK

To everyone’s surprise, the whale who had saved the divers swam back to the shore, almost as if it were checking that Nan was OK. It really seemed like it was worried about her safety!

Photo: Courtesy of The Dodo

But not only that! The whale also gave a spray from its blowhole before disappearing to the water, and just as she did that, Nan screamed: “I love you too!“. Could they be any cuter?

#10. The Talk Of The Town

Nan couldn’t believe what had just happened. In fact, she admitted that if anyone had ever told her such a story, she wouldn’t have believed it. When her story made it to the headlines, some scientists were skeptical and refused to believe her ordeal.

Photo: Courtesy of Conservation International

Luckily, the team had carried both a camera and a drone with them, so they counted with double footage to prove the world just how thrilling and unbelievable their adventure had been. Soon, Nan was all the world talked about.

#9. Groundbreaking Footage

As we’ve said, Nan had researched whales for nearly three decades. From the animal’s anatomy, physiology, to their behavioral and feeding patterns, she really knew it all.

Photo: Courtesy of Daily Mirror

Precisely because she was such an expert on whales, she was fully aware that her footage was groundbreaking, as she had recorded a historical event. She was convinced that it was the first time a humpback whale tried to protect a human being from a potential threat.

#8. Alert To Locals

The broadcast of Nan’s footage had a deep impact on the scientific community as well as among the local people. In this sense, during the following days, local fishermen reported having seen the same tiger shark.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Other locals reported having seen the same shark lurking near the reef, where many tourists go diving. Thanks to Nan’s story, everyone would now be alert. But what repercussions did this footage have in the academic field?

#7. Great Scientific Value

Nan’s footage was also valuable for scientists, as it contributed to the study of the animal’s behavioral patterns. Sadly, there wasn’t footage of all the events; for instance, there weren’t any videos of the moment in which the whale pushed the diver out of the water.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

In spite of this, the existing footage helped marine biologists from all over the world to gain insight into the minds of these mammals. Did this mean that whales were capable of emotions? Without a doubt, Nan’s experience had proved to be significant to many.

#6. The Struggle Against Poaching

Nan and her team also hope that their story will help to raise awareness on one very serious issue: the poaching of humpback whales. In this sense, a lot has to be done to preserve these animal’s lives and their habitat.

Photo: Courtesy of WireImage

So hopefully, her story will make people see whales as the friendly creatures that they are.

it’s funny how the tables are turned here: I’ve spent the past 28 years protecting whales, and at the moment, I didn’t even realize that they were protecting me!“, Nan said.

#5. Bringing Down Myths

Nan wonders why so many people see whales as threatening and aggressive creatures. For quite a long time, dolphins have been regarded as friendly and intelligent mammals – which they are – and many have even protected humans from danger. But what about whales?

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

For some reason, people don’t regard whales as intelligent and human-friendly creatures too. But guess what? Apart from Nan’s footage, some research has proven that humpback whales are actually kind creatures who display protective conduct towards other animals.

#4. They Stick Together

During the migration period, humpbacks travel to the South Pacific Ocean to breed their offspring. They usually move in packs to protect their young, which means they never migrate on their own. This helps explain Nan’s experience, as she encountered not one but two of these creatures.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Another reason why they stick together is to protect themselves from poaching. In this sense, humans are the main threat to whales and it’s because of us that they’re on the brink of extinction.

#3. The Protectors Of The Sea

People should also know that whales barely pose any threat to us humans. Humpbacks are omnivores and feed mainly on krill. Rather than predators, they’re protectors. Divers have seen them protect other species such as seals, dolphins, and other species of whales from the threat of marine predators.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

In fact, in 2016, extensive research proved that over the last 6 decades, scientists have witnessed 115 situations in which a humpback whale protected their offspring or another species from an attack. How amazing is that?

#2. Questions Unanswered

But Nan was left with the following question: did the humpback whale realize that she was a human being? Some scientists believe that the whale probably thought she was a seal, due to the black color of her wetsuit.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

But regardless of that, there is no denying that the whale behaved like a true hero. She hid Nan under her fin to protect her from the tiger shark. “Whales truly display altruism – sometimes at the risk of losing their own lives“, Nan said.

#1. Animal Instinct

Although there is no consensus on the issue, scientists have developed a theory on this type of behavior. Some say that the humpback’s altruist behavior could actually be an instinct rather than a deliberate action.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Other scientists claim that it may be a response to the distress signals from other animals. While we still haven’t arrived at a precise answer, we can say that Nan was heroically saved by a humpback whale and that her experience will help the world to understand exactly how valuable these animals are.

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    Hernán Tamargo

    Teacher. Political Scientist. Writer. Feminist... and much more!

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