Having a whale of a time! American animal nut hitches a lift with world’s largest fish

Fearsome beast or gentle giant? One intrepid adventurer has been up close and personal with the whale shark to find out.

Riding on a Whale Shark

Intrepid photographer, Forrest Galante, grabs the fin of a whale shark

Whilst working alongside a team of marine biologists, American outdoorsman Forrest Galante was able to hitch a ride with the world’s largest species of fish.

Riding on a Whale Shark

Filmed moving through the water, Forrest Galante’s hand is seen holding to the gentle giant

Given the sheer size of the whale shark (the largest one ever measured was a whopping 13.5 metres long) Forrest was asked if he felt scared in their presence.

Riding on a Whale Shark

Despite the size of the shark, the creatures are known for their placid nature

“Not at all, they are gentle giants,” he said.

“I was helping out a team of marine biologists conduct a survey on whale shark population estimates, to identify returning sharks year on year and to see growth rates of individuals.

“We were out for three days on the whole and it was on the first evening that I was able to have such an amazing interaction with the largest shark.”

Forrest, who has appeared on several TV shows stateside, is no stranger to encounters with sharks and says he hopes to come across more amazing creatures in the future.

Riding on a Whale Shark

No stranger to sharks, Forrest Galante has already dived with a variety of species , including hammer head sharks

“I have previously been in the water with the hammerhead along with various other sharks,” he said.

“As my passion and job revolves around amazing wildlife, I continue to seek encounters (both in the water and out) with all the most fantastic creatures I can.”