'That's Humongous!': Whale Sharks Surprise Boaters Off Florida's Gulf Coast

A pod of whale sharks surprised a group fishing off the north coast of Anna Maria Island, Florida, on June 15, when they surfaced near their boat.

Bradenton resident Noah Gunn was fishing with a group when several sharks swam close to their boat – much to the excitement of those on board.

Speaking to WFLA, Gunn said the group swam right up to the boat and one of the sharks appeared to be some 35 to 40 feet long.

“How insignificant something like these animals can make you feel,” he said. Credit: Noah Gunn via Storyful

Video Transcript

- So a giant whale shark. There was, like, three of them. These things are-- I'm on a 28-- 28-- 27, 28 foot boat, and this thing makes this boat look small.

- Look at the size of that thing. That's so awesome.

- Holy cow.

- Aw, I can't get a video of that thing.

- I got some. I'll share it with you.

- Oh, that's so awesome.

Is that? No, that's a jack. I was hoping that was a kobe. I was going to throw bait at it.

- That thing's probably what, 8, 10 feet wide at the tips of the--

- Man, I don't know, but that other one over there is humongous.

- So these things eat krill, right?

- Yeah. Plankton. Krill, yep.

- I don't know where the third one went.

- They're both back behind-- well, it's hard to say.

- I see the one. Oh, he's way out there. Or he was. Looked like-- yeah, he's way, way up front.

- Oh, yeah, there's more of them over there.

- Let's go check them out. Look how awesome, that head.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting