ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. - A fishing captain with Anna Maria Charters and his customers got a few surprise visitors on Wednesday. Three whale sharks swam up to their boat 30 miles off the coast of Anna Maria Island.
Captain David White says the boat was stationary when the whale sharks decided to swim up for a visit.
He says they hung around the boat for a short time before taking off. Someone aboard the vessel can be heard saying, "I think he likes us," as the giant fish swam up to the boat.
According to researchers at the University of Florida, whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea.
"They are filter feeders, often swimming near the surface of the open sea," the university's website says. "They gulp in water and filter everything from plankton and fish eggs to crustaceans and schooling fish, to occasional larger prey like squid or tuna."
Despite the whale shark's large size, they are considered harmless to humans, researchers said.
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