A Diver Sees a Giant Whale Shark in Terrible Pain, Realizes he has to Act Fast

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A group of divers made a fateful encounter in the Smithsonian-produced video below. A meeting with a whale shark, the biggest species of fish in existence according to the Nature Conservancy, is impressive enough, but this was much more than that.

The divers quickly noticed a huge commercial fishing rope wrapped around the animal, cutting into its fins. The rescue took less than a minute, but judging by the state of both the rope and the animal’s skin underneath, it is possible the rope had been there for a very long time – years, the video suggests.

While it is a large, intimidating animal — and technically a shark — the whale shark does not attack human beings unless provoked in a major way. It thus makes a great companion for divers — and it seems the relationship is not purely one-sided.

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