Diver Tobias Sachs was just minding his own business while under the sea off Hurghada, Egypt, when he became a witness, and participant, to an amazing phenomenon.
Tobias was suddenly engulfed by thousands of fish that formed a bait ball around him. A bait ball is a formation of tiny fish that groups around in a tight sphere around a common center.
Divers normally swim into existing bait balls to take amazing photographs or conduct research but it’s quite rare for a bait ball to form around a diver.
Tobias’ friend Reinhart Hoft, 59, who also calls himself James, said his friend was so amazed by the sight that he failed to notice the mammoth creature that was following behind and the reason the bait ball formed in the first place.
It turns out the fish were trying to escape the clutches of a hungry whale shark. A whale shark, despite its name, is not actually your traditional shark because it’s a filter-feeding fish that feeds on plankton and small sea creatures such as the ones who were swirling around Tobias.
Rene Thies, who was accompanying Tobias, filmed the whole thing and when the clip was shown to fellow diving enthusiasts, they quickly became envious that they hadn’t experienced the phenomenon for themselves.
James, who manages the Blue Water Dive Resort, said: “The school of fish was seeking protection from the whale shark by being near the diver. We have seen this behavior before, but not when a diver is involved.
“As usual, when a diver is yet to see something that is extremely exciting, we got the diver`s attention so that they could turn around [and see the whale shark]. The guests who did not get to experience the event were mostly jealous and amazed.
“We are incredibly thankful to our guest who shared this video, which helps us share the beauty of the Northern Red Sea that we get to experience every day.”
Rene added: “Tobias was surprised and didn’t want to move. This moment is a breathtaking situation in my film: the whale shark came and we all felt overpowered.
“I was so happy that I could record it because we hardly believe what had just happened.”