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The Inertia

When Nan Hauser, a whale biologist, went for a dive with her team, she didn’t expect to be shoved around by a 60,000-pound humpback whale. She thinks it was doing so for a very good reason: to save her life from a nearby tiger shark.

Although it’s impossible to know for sure whether that was the case, the theory does have merit. The whale pushed her in one particular direction and, at one point, even lifted her right out of the water. “That whale was intent on keeping me away and hiding me,” she said. “I was really scared. I mean, who wouldn’t be scared?”

After about ten minutes, Hauser finally saw the tiger shark that was lurking in the area. The whale, who’d been pushing her back towards the boat, stayed close by as she climbed back aboard.

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Whales have been known to protect other species when danger is near, but if that’s what was really going on, this is probably the first time the behaviour has ever been captured on camera.


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