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Boy Pets Creature Before Realizing What It Is

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The calm sea grew restless; something was approaching. Waves swirled white foam around a black behemoth. Frightened tourists called out to the boy on the shore, but he walked directly towards the monster, taking no notice of them at all. However, when he realized what it really was, he couldn't believe his eyes.

1. La Gomera

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It all happened on La Gomera, an island where the seemingly disobedient boy had come with his family for a holiday. Every year, tourists fly here to enjoy its pristine beach and scenic landscape. Yet what happened next on that day horrified those visitors who were sunbathing.

2. Boy In The Corner

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Joel, the disobedient boy, had been playing in the same corner of the beach for days. No one knew what had caught his attention, and no one cared. People just considered Joel as just another one of those kids who have odd preoccupations, yet if they knew what would happen next, they'd feel sorry for ignoring the boy for so long…

3. The Undercurrent

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Unlike most of the tourists lying on the beach and enjoying the sunshine, Joel kept splashing the water, beating up small sprays. What he did not notice was that undercurrents were forming in the surrounding sea. Something was moving directly towards Joel, but he was too immersed in the water to notice...

4. A Dangerous Fin

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The waves danced and sparkled, and small fish scurried out of the way. A ginormous, shiny black fin pierced the water, spreading signs of danger. Just as people started to notice, the ocean suddenly went quiet again, and the fin disappeared as if nothing had happened. Tourists breathed a sigh of relief, thinking they'd just misread it. But was it really an illusion?

5. A Humpback Whale?

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People were not mistaken. The creature appeared again, swimming straight toward Joel, forcing him to take several steps back. "Come back! " "It must be a humpback whale!" Grown-ups shouted at the top of their voice and looked at the ill-fated kid helplessly. What was it? Was it really a humpback whale?

6. A Fair Suspicion

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Such a suspicion is not surprising, as many whales approach harbors each year. In a single year, for example, more than 300 whales came to New York Harbor in search of food. However, this creature didn't look much like a whale as it was faster and more agile. To figure out what it was, the brave boy moved even closer.

7. The Monster Appeared

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Just when the boy took a step closer, the colossal creature rose from the waves and was wholly exposed to Joel. It wasn't a shark or a whale, but a manta ray, at least 4 meters wide and 3 times bigger than the boy. Tourists held their breath, wondering what the giant creature would do to the vulnerable boy.

8. Hand Up In The Air

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In no time, the crowd saw the thing they were afraid to see the most - the manta ray opening its mouth wide toward the boy. To everyone's surprise, Joel turned around and smiled at the worried tourists, "It's all right! It won't hurt me!" He stepped into the water and put his fist in the manta ray's mouth resolutely.

9. Met More Than Once

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The reason Joel wasn't scared of the giant manta ray was because he had seen it more than once. Not long after the boy arrived on the island, they'd begun their own interaction. Although the boy was used to such encounters, the unwitting tourists were clearly terrified.

10. Bite Him?

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"No!" People cried out and lowered their heads, afraid of what was to come. There was a dead silence. Everyone seemed convinced that the monster would bite Joel. However, the most absurd thing happened.

11. The Trust

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Beyond everyone's expectations, the manta ray didn't bite but waited quietly. It turned out that Joel was not sticking his fist in its mouth for fun but was carefully feeding the giant creature with a handful of food. It was only when Joel fully withdrew his hand that the manta ray closed its mouth and started eating.

12. Thank You

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Just like that, after feeding the manta ray several times, Joel stroked its smooth back while it flapped its fin as if saying thank you. Slowly it got back into the water and swam out into the deep sea. Joel looked at it and waved, knowing that it wouldn't be the last time they saw each other. People breathed a sigh of relief: the boy was safe and the fish was satisfied.

13. Bad Omens

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The tourists were right to be worried at such a scene. Humans have always feared megafauna because they are dangerous and aggressive. As for manta rays, some superstitions believe them to be bad omens, therefore, not only tourists but also sailors have shied away from these creatures until some interactive videos went viral.

14. A Mild Mannered Creature

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It wasn't until videos of divers interacting with manta rays in California went viral that perceptions of the creatures changed. The public now believe these creatures are actually quite gentle and quiet, and have started to be more aware of their deteriorating habitat.

15. A Fine Encounter Or Forced Choice?

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Global warming and ocean pollution have directly affected the variety and availability of their typical food sources, forcing deep-sea creatures to take their chances in crowded shoals to see if there is any abandoned food. Joel and the manta ray's meeting was not merely a beautiful encounter, but also a reluctant choice.

16. The Damaged Environment

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Joel's story shows the good in human nature and reminds us that It's time we stop ignoring marine life. People should discard their biased understanding and hostility towards creatures that may seem aggressive and frightening, and be more concerned about the living conditions of those whose habitats have been destroyed.

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