Usually, large dark animals lurking in the shallows is a good reason to stay out of the water. But not on Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where a group of half a dozen manatees cavorted in the surf to the delight of beachgoers. One visitor caught the action on his iPhone, as the sea cows swam right in amongst swimmers wading in the turquoise waters. Craig Hossack, 38, thought the creatures were seaweed at first. “But then they stuck their snouts out of the water and I was like, no way!” he told the Sun Sentinel.
Lifeguards can be heard in the video trying to clear spectators from the area with whistles, though their efforts don’t appear entirely successful. The manatees, meanwhile, seem undisturbed by the curious onlookers. Some spectators suggested the creatures were mating, but Hossack concluded it was four or five pups competing to suckle their mother.
This is not the first such video of a random encounter with marine mammals. In March 2012, a video surfaced of Brazilian sunbathers pulling 30 stranded dolphins back into the water in an impromptu rescue mission.
MORE: Top 10 Heroic Animals