While snorkeling in the waters near the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, whale biologist Nan Hauser was surprised when a 50,000-pound humpback whale pushed her through the water. Photos show the massive sea creature moving her through the water with his head and his mouth, and then he tucked her under his pectoral fin and actually lifted her out of the water once, all to protect her from a nearby shark. (!!!!)
Hauser says she wasn’t sure why the whale was moving her through the water for about 10 minutes, but she had no idea there was a 15-foot tiger shark nearby. The whale was keeping her safe and another whale was moving its tail around to keep the shark away.
Hauser says the whale even came to check on her once she was safely back on board her boat with her crew. She says the whale’s actions show that whales have an intuitive instinct to protect another species of animal. “They display altruism,” she explains,” sometimes at the risk of losing their own lives.”