Off the African coast, in La Gomera, a Spanish Canary Island in the Atlantic Ocean a boy felt something move near his feet. He thought it was some fish but when he took a better look he saw that it was a huge fin and something more!
The island has a glorious beach and has become an attraction for tourists after someone caught this moment on camera in 2013. The video has over 50 million views on YouTube and it shows a little boy standing in the waters of Valle Gran Rey harbor.
A Friendly Creature of the Sea Splashes Around a Little Boy
The boy started splashing his hand into the water and then a giant fin brushed his feet. Then everything gets quiet and the creature comes back near the ramp and the child. It seems that it was a gigantic manta ray on the hunt for some snacks.
It seems that the manta ray is a little different from others, as it wants to feed on something that Joel, the little boy has in his hands. Joel is hand-feeding the manta ray after petting it for a little. After it has been fed, the manta ray waves its fin and goes away. It has made a habit to keep coming back to get some food from Joel.
Manta rays use to follow fishing boats to catch whatever they discard after fishing. In the past sailors believed that manta rays could sink their boats. Later, in 1978, a group of divers started to visit manta rays and realized they are quite peaceful.
Unfortunately, manta rays are a species that risks going extinct due to fishing and getting caught in fishing nets. In 2014 Indonesia has banned manta rays fishing because tourism brought more profit than fishing.
What Joel did was save the species by sharing a beautiful experience with a creature that appears to be friendly. It made people aware of the extinction risk and one year later even authorities realized that there’s a lot more profit if the manta rays stay alive and become a tourist attraction rather than allowing manta ray fishing.