A brave California man dove into the ocean to swim with a giant basking shark but panicked when he thought he just jumped into the water with a great white.
The encounter was caught on video off the coast of Encinitas in San Diego County last week.
The man in the video, who is identified as Ryder, jumped off the side of the boat after a large shark whose dorsal fin was at the top of the water.
As Ryder resurfaces, the massive shark quickly turns away from the man. The group of men starts to panic that the shark in the water isn’t the gentle basking shark they had thought, but a great white.
“That was a bad idea!” Ryder yells to his friend on the boat.
The man behind the camera starts to yell while laughing, “get back on the boat!”
Ryder gets a close look at the shark’s length as he touches it, saying, “ah! I touched it! Holy!”
The shark swims near the edge of the boat, “dude, that’s a gr…” the cameraman starts to say, before quickly adding, “that’s not a basking shark, dude.”
Ryder lets out a few screams as he pulls himself back onto the safety of the boat.
The post has gone viral on social media. On Tik Tok, it has already received over 855,700 views along with many comments.
One viewer wrote, “Famous last words: ‘that was a bad idea!” while another said, “Even the shark was like, ‘Is this dude serious?”
Many praised the cameraman for keeping his composure during the video.
“The way he held back from saying, ‘DUDE THAT’S A GREAT WHITE’ to calm the swimmer is legendary,” one user added.
Basking Shark vs Great White
Although the shark was a basking shark, many people confuse it with the great white. However, according to a post from the Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, “The dorsal fin of the Great White is a sharply-edged triangle. Comparatively, the dorsal fin of the Basking Shark is a triangle as well, it is slightly rounded at the apex.”
In addition, the color of basking sharks can be brown, gray, or black and are often spotted and uniform in color. On the other hand, the great white has two distinct color variants of black or gray on top and white on the bottom.
“Additionally, basking sharks have very large, visible gills that encircle their head, whereas the gills of the Great White aren’t as visible.”
Basking sharks also tend to be larger than great whites and eat plankton.
[H/T Daily Mail]