Friendships come in all shapes and sizes. For Rick Anderson, his friendship is so far from normal that most people donâ€™t believe it when they hear about the unlikely duo. To go to his friendâ€™s â€œhouse,â€ Anderson must strap on an oxygen tank and dive into the ocean off Nobbys Beach in South Wales, Australia.
As soon as Andersonâ€™s nameless friend sees him, she swims right over to get cuddled. The shocking part of this friendship is that Andersonâ€™s friend is a six-foot long female Port Jackson shark.
Andersonâ€™s friend has specific markings that he recognizes and she always knows him. He first began playing with her when she was only about six inches long and had to carefully approach her so she wouldnâ€™t swim away.
Anderson would gently pat her until she warmed up to him and he could cradle her in his hand and talk to her.
Every time he saw her, he would go through the routine and she warmed up to the idea of having a friend quickly. Every season, when Anderson dives, she sees him and swims right up to him.
The shark is so comfortable with Anderson that she swims beside him and taps his legs until he holds out his arms for her to snuggle into. Divers with Anderson are always shocked when they get to witness the spectacular scene.
Anderson has been a dive instructor for twenty-seven years and hopes his unusual friendship helps people to get over their irrational fear of sharks and understand that sharks are not mindless water monsters.
Share away, people!
Images & Feature Image Source:Â Rick Anderson