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WATCH: This Woman Thought She Recorded a Shark, But It Was Something Even Cooler

"Oh my god. He's huge!"


A woman captured the terrifying moment she saw a shark swimming straight toward her ... only it wasn't a shark after all.

According to the Herald Sun, swimming race director Kristin Jeno was standing on a dock, recording video and awaiting 20 competitors to finish, when she saw the saw a large gray fin in the water.

The North Carolinian started yelling, "Shark!" to warn people nearby.

"Oh my god. He's huge," she added, panning her camera over to follow the animal.

Giphy/Kristen Smith Jeno

But her concerns weren't necessary, because the creature she feared was a shark was actually a harmless sunfish, also called a Mola mola. She eventually posted her video to Facebook, where her close encounter of a different kind went viral.

According to NatGeo, sunfish aren't a threat to humans because they just eat jellyfish, small fish, plankton and algae. But the outlet reported that it's actually not unusual for these gentle giants to be mistaken for sharks. They do have similarly large fins that tower above the water.

However, the Mola's are distinctly more wobbly as a result of their clumsy sideways swimming.

Giphy/Kristen Smith Jeno

That's nothing like the rigid way shark fins slice through the water.

Giphy

Still, Jeno is not alone in mistaking a Mola mola for a shark. Twice in 2014, a sunfish was thought to be a shark, leading to beach closures in Massachusetts, according to the Boston Globe. The paper reported that sunfish often swim close to the surface to sunbathe or to let seagulls pick parasites off their skin.

Jeno was right to be cautious, though, as great white sharks do inhabit the waters of North Carolina. Humans rarely get attacked, but better safe than sorry. And better sunfish than shark.

Watch the full video below:

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