Man Dives in To Swim With a Harmless Shark Only To Find It Was a Great White | 22 Words

A man experienced the shock of his life this week when he dived into the ocean to swim with what he thought to be a harmless basking shark...

Of course, it was something much more formidable.

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The man decided to take a dip with the seemingly harmless shark while out sailing near Encinitas, California but, as soon as he hit the water, he instantly regretted his decision.

And, luckily for us...

The entire incident was captured on camera - and posted onto TikTok, of course.

Now, sharks have been feared by us humans for centuries.

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However, though they may look formidable,  sharks - great whites, in particular - are actually one of the more peaceful creatures in the ocean.

They have a visually scary demure.

Admittedly, sharks aren't the cuddliest of creatures. With rows of razor-sharp teeth and empty, black eyes, they can be a bit intimidating, to say the least... Oh, and the fact that they can grow to be the same size as a bus doesn't help either.

And the 1975 blockbuster, Jaws, only spurred this negative stigma around great white sharks further.

Following the release of the movie, a shark-hunting frenzy began, with people mercilessly killing the unfortunate creatures after watching their dramatized version on the big screen.

But these shark attacks are much less common than you'd think.

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It turns out that humans aren't a shark's first dish of choice, with them preferring to hunt sea lions, seals, smaller whales, and turtles.

Statistics show that there were only thirty-two confirmed cases of shark attacks in the United States last year and only one fatality.

And, believe it or not, sharks very rarely eat humans.

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Considering that sharks evolved millions of years before humans ever walked the Earth (or swam in the oceans...), we are not a part of their typical diet.

However, they can still pack in a big bite.

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People have been known to suffer from major injuries when caught in the crosswinds of a great white.

So, of course...

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You wouldn't want to find yourself in the open water alone with one of these creatures, would you?

And this brings us back to our story of one man and an unexpected great white.

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TikTok user, Rydersonthestorm, shared his up-close-and-personal experience with a great white shark this week after he mistook it for a harmless basking shark.

Basking sharks, though large in size, are considered to pose no threat to humans...

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And have been known to tolerate divers and swimmers with little or no issues in the past.

So, when Ryder saw what he thought to be a basking shark...

via: TikTok

He dove head-first into the water to enjoy a swim with the passing creature.

However, as soon as he was up close to the shark in the water...

via: TikTok

He quickly realized that it was not a basking shark at all.

It was a great white.

via: TikTok

As I mentioned earlier, great whites don't actually eat humans, but they have been known to turn aggressive when threatened, or when they mistake humans for prey.

So, of course, it isn't a good idea to go swimming with one.

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Upon his damning realization, Ryder began swimming frantically back towards the boat as the shark continued to circle. "That was a bad idea!" he called out to friends who were watching from the boat.

The group seems to find the whole thing quite funny...

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And they all burst into laughter as Ryder screams out, "Ah! I touched it! Oh f***!"

But, as the colossal shark swims up to the boat...

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The man behind the camera suddenly realizes what exactly is is they're dealing with. "Dude, that's a gr..." he trails off, before saying "that's not a basking shark, dude."

Luckily, Ryder made it safely back onto the boat...

via: TikTok

And, since posting the video onto TikTok, he experienced an overwhelming response.

Over 9 million people have now watched his terrifying encounter...

And thousands more commented with their sheer disbelief. "Famous last words: that was a bad idea!" one person wrote, while another commented, "I think that the shark was just in shock that someone jumped in and petted him." You can watch the full video above.

It's safe to say that Ryder will be thinking twice before jumping into the ocean for a quick dip in the future...

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For more incredible shark encounters, keep scrolling to see the highest great white breach ever recorded on-camera...