‘Too bad it wasn’t a Great White’: Moron becomes Massachusetts public enemy No.1 after leaping on top of basking shark
- The group stand on boat watch the basking shark in Cohasset, Massachusetts
- A young man dives into the water and lands on top of the giant sea creature
- His friends gasp and cheer him as the basking shark swims away from him
This is the shocking moment a young man jumped onto a basking shark as his friends cheered him on.
Footage captured in Cohasset, Massachusetts, shows a group of friends on a boat watching the giant sea creature, which is the second-largest shark in the world after the whale shark, swimming below.
Just seconds later, one of the young men dives into the water above the basking shark as his friends gasp and one shouts: ‘Oh my god!’
The young men dives off the boat and lands on top of the basking shark in Cohasset, Massachusetts
The group of friends stand on the boat and watch as the giant sea creature swims below them
As the shark tries to swim away, the man raises his arms in the air in triumph as his friend exclaims: ‘You got hit by its tail dude!’
A second man leaps into the water to join his friend before the pair swim back to the boat and another person is heard shouting: ‘Oh my god that was sick!’
Following the scenes horrified viewers took to social media to criticise the stunt.
One person wrote: ‘Such a cool moment ruined by people trying to be cool…poor shark.’
Another user commented: ‘They don’t even know what they just saw. For the majority of people that’s a once in a lifetime experience. A basking shark wow.’
And another social media user added: ‘Try that with a great white next time.’
While another said: ‘Try it with a bear or a great white next time. Darwinism at its finest.’
The scenes come nearly a year after a Californian man was filmed diving into the Pacific Ocean expecting to swim with a basking shark before quickly retreating when he thought it was a great white shark.
Footage shared online showed a shark’s fin slicing through the ocean water as the man, identified as Ryder, dove off a boat.
The basking shark swims away from the man after he jumps into the water and lands on it
A second man leaps into the water to join his friend before they both swim back to their boat
Shocked viewers took to social media to criticise the stunt, with one saying the sighting had been ‘ruined by people trying to be cool’
As Ryder resurfaced, he began to question his decision and swam away from the shark, eventually managing to pull himself out of the water and back onto the boat.
Basking sharks are the second-largest fish in the world and are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
The creatures, which can grow up to 39ft-long, typically feature a black triangular dorsal fin, a bulbous snout and a cavernous jaw.
Despite its size, the basking shark only feeds on microscopic animals called zooplankton which it catches by opening its mouth and allowing the water to filter through its gills.
The sharks can be found across the world, including off the east coast of the US, Norway and in the Mediterranean.
What are basking sharks?
Basking sharks are the second-largest fish in the world and can grow up to 39ft. (Stock image)
Basking sharks are the second-largest fish in the world after whale sharks.
They have long gills which almost go completely around their heads.
The maximum size of the sharks is around 39ft but there have been unconfirmed reports of larger ones.
It is unknown how long they live, but scientists are trying to learn this by counting the number of vertebral spines – in a similar way to counting the rings of a tree trunk to discover its age – and comparing that to other animals whose age is known.
Basking sharks feed mainly on zooplankton and will swim slowly just beneath the surface with their mouths open to filter the tiny organisms from seawater.
They prefer to live in cooler waters, along coastlines and in open water, and can be found across the world.
Northern hemisphere countries where basking sharks can be found near include China, Korea, Japan, the east coast of the US, Great Britain and Norway, as well as in the Mediterranean.
In the southern hemisphere they can be found off Southern Australia, South America and the tip of South Africa.
These giants are relatively harmless to humans. According to the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, they ‘are considered passive and no danger to humans other than that posed by their large size and rough skin.’