Nan Hauser, a marine mammalogist in the Cook Islands, thought she was being harassed by a 50-foot humpback whale on a dive off the island of Rarotonga. That was until she saw a dark figure swimming below, anyhow.
The grey shape was so big — 20 feet long — she thought it must belong to a Cuvier’s beaked whale. But when she noticed its tail was moving side to side, not up and down like a whale’s, she knew it was a large shark. And so did the male humpback whale, which was apparently trying its damnedest to protect her.
Though the dive off Muri Beach took place on September 14, Hauser just released the footage to the public this week, and it has reached every corner of the Internet. Hauser’s life as a biologist was documented in the 2005 movie “Footprint on the Water.”