Manatees are large gentle mammals who
spend their time lazily drifting and swimming through slow moving
rivers, bays, estuaries and coastal waterways. They spend up to half
the day sleeping submerged and the other half eating mainly plants like
water lettuce and celery, sea clover, and mangrove leaves. While they
are closely related to elephants they are also appropriately known as
sea cows due to their slow nature, grazing habits and large bodies.
They have no natural enemies, no defense systems, and pose absolutely
zero threat to humans. Which makes this video of a girl freaking out
when a manatee swims near her hilarious.
The gentle manatee was doing his thing and floating leisurely through
the warm Florida waters when he happened upon the spring breaker.
Thinking nothing of her, he floated past, and kept on the lookout for
any potential plants to munch on. However, the girl became
unnecessarily hysterical and frightened by his presence. She flailed
around desperately looking for where the sea cow had gone. A
selfie-stick she took along for her swim captured the moment as well as
the panicked expression that spread across her face. At one point she
shouts “Oh my god, get me out of here” after which nearby friends on a
boat tell her “It’s behind you.” The girl continues her desperate
escape away from the mammal and looks to be struggling as she swallows
water and flails around helplessly. If you didn’t know any better you
would think that there was a shark or alligator in the water with her,
not a harmless manatee, as those creatures would warrant such a
If anything, she posed the greatest threat to herself at the time,
not the poor manatee. In her blind fright it looks like she induced her
own panic attack and practically starts to drown. Amazingly, through
it all, she managed to hold steadily onto the selfie-stick and keep it
focused on herself. Which works out for everyone viewing this short
clip and the girl’s entertaining run in with the gentle sea cow.