A video posted Wednesday on Youtube shows Florida teen Chris Kreis, 19, jumping on and then riding a 30-foot-long, 50,000-pound whale shark.
The video was taken in the Gulf of Mexico last week, some thirty miles off the Florida coast. In it, Kreis manages to grasp the animal’s fin and ride for 20 seconds. Kreis described his adventure thusly: “When I started holding on, I felt the whale shark. It started moving itself, it felt the drag and it didn't really want me on there so I let go and that's it.”
While riding a whale shark is not prohibited by law, some are understandably upset by Kreis’s display and believe the fish could have been injured. “When people spend a lot of time and pressure on a fish it takes away a slime that covers the fish,” said marine biologist Bruce Neill. “They need that layer to stay healthy.”