No One Believed Him When He Described His Morning Ritual With His Strange Friend So They Caught This

Out of the millions of different animal species in this world, the young boy in this video ended up befriending a gentle creature whose identity you’d probably never guess! The amazing footage shows the moment that he went to visit with his buddy and as you can see, it turns out that his special friend is none other than a giant manta ray!

The accompanying clip was captured off the coast of northwestern Africa on Spain’s Canary Islands. The beautiful subtropical archipelago happens to be a gathering place for marine life and it’s where many different types of stingray species can often be found. Groups of rays and schools of fish are a very common sight in the surrounding waters, which makes them very popular for diving, snorkeling, and sightseeing activities.

However, you don’t have to even enter the water to catch an up close and personal glimpse of the ocean life because one of the main spots that the large rays tend to frequent is near a set of stone steps that descend right into the ocean! The stairs happen to be the place where local fishermen toss back any unwanted fish and so the area has become known as a harbor hot spot. Many different types of sea creatures looking for an easy bite to eat stop by the place in hopes of finding a tasty treat to snack on. That makes it, in a sense, kind of like a fast food drive-through for fish, or a swim-through.

On this particular day the young boy in a white top and red shorts had gone to the steps to feed and play with his lovable manta ray friend. The huge fish swam right up to where the kid was standing and greeted him as affectionately as a giant manta ray possibly could! It hovered near the surface, very close to the boy, while he gently pet the top of its head and not once did it make any move that could be perceived as threatening or questionable.

In fact, the creature was very calm and looked to be accustomed to the boy, so much so that it even ate the food he generously offered right out of his hands. That’s quite impressive and shows a certain level of trust and familiarity that can only develop with time. At one moment in the clip the boy splashed the surface of the water and seconds later the ray came in super close. The big fish ended up resting part of its cartilaginous body on the bottom step and flapped about, as if it was trying to move in even closer to the young boy. The whole scene looked just like how someone would call their dog over and who knows, perhaps this boy has taught his giant ray friend some cool pet tricks!

As unbelievable and odd as this pairing may initially seem to be, stingrays are actually quite friendly and curious creatures. They are intelligent and will only attack or sting when they are either defending themselves or something suddenly scares them, both of which are totally normal reactions by our human standards. And while stingrays come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, the largest species of them all are called manta rays. They can grow to be over 20 feet wide and weigh close to three-thousand pounds!

Generally speaking, stingrays are rarely aggressive. Many species of them do have a poisonous stinger filled with venom that, as mentioned above, is only used in self-defense when the ray feels threatened. In terms of stingray attacks on humans, they most often occur when people inadvertently step on one in shallow water. A helpful tip to avoid this ever happening to you is to walk with a shuffling step by sliding your feet through the sand whenever you’re wading in shallow ocean water where stingrays are known to live. This gives them a heads up to your presence and will likely scatter them away so that you don’t end up stepping on one.

Overall, fatal stingray attacks on humans are exceedingly rare. Typically a person will accidentally step on one, get a painful sting on their foot or lower leg, and make a full recover shortly thereafter. However, after the tragic death of wildlife expert Steve Irwin in 2006 the marine creatures were rocketed to the forefront of public discussion. Many people were shocked and saddened by his untimely passing and completely unaware of the risks that the seemingly gentle, harmless looking rays posed. However, any reputation of them being perceived as especially dangerous after this incident is wholly undeserved and records back this up. In Australian waters stingrays have only been attributed to three known deaths since 1938, including Steve Irwin, and all 3 victims were stabbed either directly in the heart or very close to it. To put it in perspective, it’s much more dangerous to encounter jellyfish, sharks, saltwater crocodiles, sea snakes, and other different types of poisonous fish in the ocean than a stingray.

When you watch the interaction in the video just think how cool and neat this would be if it happened to you. While most people would probably be, at the very least, slightly freaked out by such a giant fish swimming right up to them, this kid loves it and knows he is safe. In the end, nature always finds a way to surprise us and make us smile, and this young boy and his stingray friend will do just that!

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