Who doesn’t love to sit on the beach and enjoy the cool summer breeze? The ocean is beautiful and there’s no doubt about that, but we can’t always say the same thing about what lies beneath its waves. There are many creatures that live underwater and not all of them are friendly!
This is the story of Joel, a young boy who stood next to the water’s edge and had an encounter with an oceanic monster. He stood his ground and didn’t back off! Luckily, everything was caught on camera. You won’t believe how this encounter ended!
20. Summer Breeze
There’s no better way of spending your vacation time other than enjoying yourself and getting a nice tan near the ocean. This is exactly how the local kids from La Gomera love to spend their summer vacations as well. You won’t believe how mesmerizing La Gomera looks!
19. La Gomera
This beautiful place is a Spanish Canary Island that is located right next to the Atlantic Ocean. La Gomera is renowned through the world for its amazing scenery and blue waters. However, what lies beneath those waters is the real tourist attraction! Make sure to stick around for the next picture to find out how Joel’s incredible story kicked off.
18. Viral Video
Back in 2013, someone posted a video on YouTube which showed a young boy named Joel who stepped into the ocean and had a shocking surprise! The video gathered over 50 million views over the course of time and it is one of the most famous videos ever made. You won’t believe what happened when Joel put his foot into the water!
17. Something is in the Water!
Right when Joel stepped into the water, something HUGE started moving! The kid got scared and got out as soon as he could, but what happened next will leave you in awe.
16. Giant Sea Monster
Just after Joel managed to step out of the water, a giant sea monster followed him up the steps. This scared everyone who was around, especially Joel. But what kind of monster is this?
15. Manta Ray
The monster Joel encountered was a manta ray. These creatures are huge, growing up to 1,600 kilos and the entire La Gomera island is scared of them.
Make sure to check out the next picture to find out why locals are so scared of these creatures.
14. They Sink Boats!!
The local fishermen of La Gomera are afraid of mantra rays because, legend has it, that they are so powerful that they can sink boats by simply yanking on anchors. No one can blame the fishermen for being afraid because the thought of being dragged down by a huge sea monster is a nightmare for everyone. Although, some divers managed to find out some additional information about mantra rays back in 1978.
13. Friendly Creatures
After many diving expeditions, a team of experts from California found out that manta rays are not interested in hurting humans at all. This is great news because what Joel did after seeing the huge manta ray at his feet is amazing!
12. Feeding the Creature
Instead of running to safe land, Joel decided to do something truly amazing! The kid got some fish and started feeding the manta ray. What’s even more amazing, is how the mantra ray started acting! You won’t believe what happened next!
11. Petting and Feeding the Manta Ray
After Joel fed the mantra ray, he started petting it. This shows how courageous this young man is and how friendly mantra rays can be. We could even assume that the creature was grateful for being fed. But then the creature did something unexpected!
10. Saying Goodbye
After Joel fed and played with the manta ray for a couple of minutes, the creature decided that it is not hungry anymore and left. The amazing thing is that the creature came to Joel for one last pet as if saying goodbye. But things get even crazier than this! Someone else managed to reenact the video.
9. Manta Ray Feeding in the Maldives
It seems like mantra rays love to be fed by humans because someone managed to capture a similar video like the one starring Joel. This time, the man feeding the manta ray was a tourist and the video was captured in the Maldives. After the tourist fed the creature, it decided to stick around and let all tourists pet it. This is not the only mantra ray sighting video that went viral, the third video features a team of divers and a manta ray in need of help!
8. Helping a Captured Mantra Ray
Another mantra ray sighting happened near the coast of Costa Rica. A team of divers spotted a manta ray and tried to play with it. However, they couldn’t believe what they saw, the creature was stuck in a fishing net. What the divers did next will make your jaw drop.
7. Setting the Mantra Ray Free
The divers who saw that the manta ray was in need of help didn’t waste any time and untangled the creature and then set it free. The mantra ray roamed around the swimmers for a couple of minutes before leaving in order to show its appreciation. Unfortunately, we have some bad news…
6. Endangered Species
Despite their appearances in these videos, manta rays are actually an endangered species. Fishermen are hunting them because they sell for $500 a piece. Considering that La Gorgona’s economy is not flourishing, $500 means a whole lot there. However, the viral video helped the government see how valuable mantra rays are.
5. Tourist Attraction
Seeing that the video starring Joel went viral and gathered 50 million views, the government decided that manta rays are a touristic attraction. You won’t believe what La Gorgona’s official representatives did next!
4. Forbidding Mantra Ray Fishing
La Gorgona’s official representatives decided to forbid fishermen from going after mantra rays. This is great news since the species was endangered and if they kept fishing them, they probably would’ve disappeared in a couple of years. This means that Joel’s encounter did much more than to entertain YouTube viewers.
3. Saving an Endangered Species
It seems like Joel, the courageous young boy, managed to grab everyone’s attention and to show the entire world that mantra rays are peaceful creatures. More importantly, he showed how they can be a touristic attraction thus saving their lives. Regarding touristic attractions, check out the next picture to see how much a mantra ray is able to earn during its lifetime.
2. Manta Rays are Worth $1 Million Each
An Indonesian study is showing that while a mantra ray may be worth $500 on the market, it can actually earn up to $1 million during its lifetime in touristic value. There are many people who visit certain locations for the sole purpose of diving with these creatures and La Gorgona is lucky to have them.
From the looks of it, Joel’s encounter with the manta ray was a win-win situation for both of them. He got to live a once in a lifetime experience while the friendly mantra ray spiked touristic interest in La Gorgona, thus forcing the government to ban fishermen from going after them.