There’s nothing quite like enjoying a beach vacation. Sunshine, swimming, ocean views. What’s not to love?
For one swimmer in Florida, a close encounter with a shark was the highlight of their vacation. And the most amazing thing? They didn’t even know it was there!
This video was shot from 28 stories up by Stan Battles. Stan was on vacation in Panama City, Florida, enjoying the view and fresh air on his balcony, when he saw a dark shadow near a lone swimmer in the ocean below. He began filming and zoomed in to see if he could get a better look at what it was.
“It’s probably a manta ray,” says Stan. “Whatever it is, shark or whatever, it’s right under.”
The swimmer continues to go along, peacefully moving through the crystal clear water. It seems like they have no idea that there is something swimming right alongside. Because the water is so clear, Stan and his fellow observers can see there is an animal in the water, even from 28 floors up.
The Shadow Appears
As the swimmer moves across the water toward a part with a sandier bottom, the shadow becomes even more pronounced. It is still hard to tell what it is, but it’s definitely large. It is just as long as the person swimming, possibly longer, although it is hard to tell exactly from so high up.
The shadow is shaped like a shark and you can see that the tail moves to the left and right as it swims. The person stops and appears to be floating on their stomach or back, just enjoying the calm day. The shadow keeps its distance but stays near the swimmer.
“Hey!” People below start to call out as the shadow turns and swims closer to the swimmer. The swimmer is still relaxing and tranquil in the water.
“They’re hollering shark,” says Stan. He is clearly relieved that people have spotted the animal and may have a better look at it. The swimmer realizes that people are calling out that there is a shark and swims in quickly. Wisely, they turn 90 degrees, which puts them on a path directly away from the shark. The shark turns away as well and swims back out into the ocean.
While sharks do not like to attack humans unless they feel threatened (or mistake them for food), it is still a good idea to take precautions and leave the water if there are sharks in the area. Not only is it safer for you, it is also safer for the sharks. Sharks would much rather look for seals, fish, or seabirds to eat than have to deal with unpredictable panicking people.
Florida is no stranger to sharks in its waters. With two coasts and warm water that makes a perfect home for sharks and their favorite foods, many species call this area home.
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