Giant Whale Wouldn't Leave Diver Alone. Then Her Gut Told Her Why

Giant Whale Wouldn't Leave Diver Alone. Then Her Gut Told Her Why

The Royal Color

Facebook/ Nan Daeschler Hauser

Blue sky, blue flippers, blue sea. The color had a calming effect on Nan Hauser. She thought of the weightless feeling of the ocean, the endless treasures of creatures. She tightened her fingers around the wheel of the boat, enjoying her last few minutes of being dry before going for yet another dive. Blue had always been Nan Hauser’s favorite color. She forgot the monsters that lurk in the sea. But they didn’t forget her.


Small Dreams

Facebook/ Nan Daeschler Hauser

Nan Hauser dreamed of working beneath the surface of the water with dolphins and whales as a young girl. However, her fear of the ocean and inescapable seasickness made the prospect of a career in marine biology highly unlikely. When she was thirteen, (a time many find themselves worrying about friendships and popularity) she saw a video of a dolphin culling. No one could have predicted the impact one video would have on her life.

Big Sea

Facebook/ Whale Research Cook Islands

Like many of us, Nan put her dreams aside. She made the practical choice of going to college and became a qualified nurse. Although Nan enjoyed the thrill of saving lives, she couldn’t scratch the itch of the sea. She had never found a love quite like the sea. And a brave leap of faith decades ago has rewarded her with 28 years of researching and monitoring whales and dolphins in the Bahamas. She has never worked a day in her life. But nothing could have prepared her for this unforgettable dive.

Beneath the Surface

Facebook/ Nan Daeschler Hauser

Just like any other dive, Nan anchored the boat and lowered herself into Cook Island’s sea. As she prepared to descend into the dark depths, a shadow in the distance started to approach; fast. Her heart stopped as the shadow morphed into the silhouette of a whale. Would she film the greatest encounter or document her own demise?


Facebook/ Nan Daeschler Hauser

Nan preferred the sea to dry land. She never felt at home on solid ground. She was her best self surrounded by marine wildlife, so she was no stranger to sea mammals. This particular humpback is estimated to have weighed about 50,000 pounds. Nan had spent her life dedicated to creatures of the deep, but in all her studies, she had never encountered the shy humpbacks before. As if their presence didn’t shock her enough, what followed was unforgettable.


The Whale Whisperer

Facebook/ One Man and His VIew of The World

Nan is an avid believer in not interacting with any animal in the wild. She has openly written about whale harassment and only initiates contact with the whales she studies if they are sick or beached. She has educated the world throughout the years but this hatchback whale wanted to throw her lifetime studies out the window. The whale greeted Nan by securing her on his head. Only armed with her camera and diving equipment, Nan began to document their meeting. But her studies never prepared her for this.

The First Move

Facebook/ Nan Daeschler Hauser

The whale began to dance before her, rolling around, gliding through the water, even nudging her to join. Accompanied by a filmmaker, 63-year-old Hauser found herself frozen by the beast's peculiar behavior. It pushed her along the surface of the water with its head before rising for a breath, along with Hauser. The whale continued to follow her and for the first time since she was a child, she was afraid.

Eye Contact

Facebook/ Nan Daeschler Hauser

Hauser attempted to remain calm. Although she was pushed around with a mouth that catches thousands of prey a day, Hauser went into survival mode. She thought of one single thing that could keep her alive—eye contact. Highly sociable animals like whales and canines use eye contact to establish or challenge dominance. Up against a giant, this single response was all she could think of. But that didn’t stop this beast from pushing her further from her crew, and boat.

No Michael Phelps

Facebook/ Scuba Diving GIrls Italia

On multiple occasions, Hauser attempted to get back to her vessel. But on each attempt, she was interrupted by the playful hunchback. The seed of fear began to sprout. Her crewmembers, originally filming for a documentary, waited anxiously, fearing they would capture the end of a legend. Hauser was as far from her comfort zone as she could be. But something else was keeping an eye on her.



Facebook/ Discovery South Africa

Just as a second whale appeared out of nowhere, slapping its tail along the surface of the water, Hauser spun around. One whale acting peculiar what was rare enough. Similar behaviour in a second at was troubling. A third figure began to take shape in the distance. But this dark shadow didn’t bob up and down like the hunchbacks. This menacing monster swayed from side to side—a horrifying characteristic of one particular sea creature.

King of the Sea

Facebook/ Passport Ocean

Hauser couldn’t deny the truth. A marine expert, she knew a shark when she saw one. But this wasn’t your average shark. This was the second deadliest sea animal to attack humans and an understandable nightmare among surfers and divers alike. This oceanic predator made the land bound tiger look like a kitten, and it was coming straight for her.

Deadly Creatures

Facebook/ Sergio Floeter

The tiger shark is one of the most feared animals for swimmers and aquatic life. Weighing up to a ton and spanning up to 25 feet long, this ruthless hunter is notorious for its determination. Unlike other sharks that take just a taster bite before abandoning their victim, the tiger shark will continue to attack the same pray until the bitter end. Nauser swam with more force than she ever had before. Would she become the main course to this shark’s all-you-can-eat buffet?

Just Keep Swimming

Facebook/ The Beauty of Nature

Hauser and her cameraman pushed every muscle of their bodies as they made their way back to the vessel, glancing over their shoulders constantly. She took a deep breath as her hand hit the solid vessel. Arms and legs flailed as the crew dragged them from likely peril. Hauser lay on her back, staring at the blue sky. Was she dreaming? Because something just didn’t add up.


Whale of a Time

Facebook/ Nan Daeschler Hauser

Like elephants, humpback whales tend to stick together in packs where they even protect one another’s young. But protecting humans seemed unfathomable, especially when they were poached to near extinction just 45 years ago. Thanks to people like Hauser, who have dedicated their lives to protecting these animals, humpbacks may soon be removed from the federal endangered species list. But one question remains.

A Miraculous Interaction

Facebook/ Nan Daeschler Hauser

Hauser has admitted her own awe and wonder regarding the encounter, “I’m a scientist, and if anyone told me this story, I wouldn’t believe it.” Her encounter has gone viral, leaving scientists around the world speechless. She hopes the video will continue to spread awareness regarding the complexity of these mysterious creatures and therefore remove humans from the number of threats they find themselves up against. Let’s hope she’s right about this one!