Nan Hauser had discovered that the color blue had a calming effect on her. There was a blue sky above her and a blue ocean below full of creatures just waiting to be discovered. Just minutes before going into the water, she braced herself for the thrill of yet another one of her diving experiences. Sadly, she had forgotten that monsters do exist, and sometimes, they’re lurking under the sea. But they certainly hadn’t forgotten her.
Nan Hauser dreamed of a career in marine biology. The thought of working under the sea with whales and dolphins had been a passion of hers since she was a little girl. Unfortunately, she suffered from seasickness and a horrible fear of the ocean. But then, when she was thirteen, she saw footage of a dolphin culling, and that video alone made such a powerful impact on her that it practically changed her life forever.
Nan dreamed of the sea, but she chose a more practical path for her life, which involved attending college and becoming a qualified nurse. Although helping people offered some rewards, the sea continued to call to her. Nothing else in her life satisfied her the way the sea did. So, she took a detour years ago, and this allowed her to research and monitor dolphins and whales in the Bahamas for 28 years. But one day, during a dive, she was unprepared for a truly unforgettable moment.
Nan anchored the boat and began to lower herself into the waters surrounding Cook Islands. But as she descended into the dark depths, a shadow approached her and it was moving fast. The shadow became the silhouette of a whale and her heart nearly stopped. Would she get the chance to document an amazing encounter, or would this be her final hours on Earth?
As an adult, Nan didn’t feel comfortable on dry land, and actually preferred the sea. In fact, she loved being surrounded by marine wildlife, since she was familiar with them. But she estimated that the humpback that was heading towards her was approximately 50,000 pounds. Nan had dedicated her life to studying various sea mammals, but she had never encountered a humpback before. But what followed behind the humpback was truly stunning.
Nan never liked interfering with wild animals. In fact, she only makes contact with a whale if she finds one that is sick or beached on the shore. Over the years, she has educated people about the dangers of interacting with whales. However, this particular humpback was defying everything that she both taught and believed in. The whale had fastened Nan on his head, so Nan decided to document the encounter with the help of her camera and diving equipment. But she wasn’t prepared for what happened next.
The whale started to glide though the water and roll around. It was almost like he was dancing, and he nudged her to join in. The 63-year-old, who was accompanied by a filmmaker, was stunned by the whale’s unusual behavior. It kept pushing her along the surface of the water using his head. Then he went up for breath and took Hauser with him. But then the whale kept following her, and for the first time in a while, she was scared.
Hauser tried not to panic, which wasn’t easy since the creature was pushing her with a mouth that he used to catch thousands of prey per day. Naturally, Hauser’s survival instincts kicked in and decided to try eye contact with the creature, which at this point was the only thing she knew could keep her safe. Sociable creatures like whales use contact to challenge or establish dominance. This was all she could come up with, but the creature pushed her away from the boat and crew.
Hauser was seen as a legend in her field, but her crew feared that they were documenting the end of that legend. Still, Hauser tried to get back to her ship, but every time she tried, the humpback continued to prevent that from happening. At this point, everyone was on edge, but it turns out that the whale wasn’t the only thing that had focused his attention on her, and her comfort zone was at its limits.
Slapping its tail above the water’s surface was a second whale, which had come out of nowhere. Dealing with one peculiar whale was difficult enough, but now she had to deal with two. Then, a third creature took shape in the distance, but this shadow wasn’t behaving the same way as the other humpback whales were. This creature was moving side by side, which was a pattern typically used by another type of sea creature, who was horrifying.
As a marine expert, Hauser knew what she was seeing. It was a shark, but it wasn’t a typical shark. This was the second deadliest sea creature known to attack divers and surfers. In fact, this shark was so fierce that it made a tiger seem like a defenseless kitten. But what was even more terrifying for Hauser was the fact that the shark had targeted her.
The tiger shark makes aquatic life and swimmers quiver with fear. Not only are they 25 feet long, but they can weigh as much as a ton. They’re also ruthless and determined when it comes to hunting. And unlike some sharks who will take a small bite to determine if a victim is worthy or not, the tiger shark will not stop until it has eaten its prey. So, Nauser swam as fast she could. Would she be fast enough to escape this deadly creature?
Hauser and her cameraman pushed their bodies to the limit as they swam back to their boat. But they were always mindful of the dangers of the sea, hence why they looked over their shoulders until they were safe inside the vessel. Legs had kicked and arms had flailed after trying to escape possible harm. Now Hauser lay on her back staring at the blue sky wondering why this was happening.
Humpback whales tend to travel in packs. In fact, they look after one another and protect each other’s young. But protecting humans seemed questionable since humanity had driven the species to the point of extinction. But people like Hauser have dedicated their careers to ensuring that humpback whales are safe. In fact, they may soon be removed from the endangered species list as well. But there was still one troubling question.
Hauser had a recent encounter with a whale and admitted that she was awestruck. “I’m a scientist, and if anyone told me this story, I wouldn’t believe it.” Her encounter went viral, which left scientists worldwide lost for words. She hopes that the footage will teach people about how complex humpback whales are and the way that they’re willing to protect humans from the dangers they might encounter in the sea. Hopefully, her wish does come true!