Saudi Man Filmed Riding Whale Shark By Clinging Onto Its Dorsal Fin


Saudi Man Filmed Riding Whale Shark By Clinging Onto Its Dorsal Fin@alalwaniabdulla/Newsflash

Most people tend to steer clear of sharks if they find themselves in close proximity, but one man brazenly jumped onto the back of one and attempted to ride it, clinging to its dorsal fin. 

The bold stunt took place in the Red Sea, near Yanbu city in Saudi Arabia, where Zaki Al-sabahy was on a boat with two other men, identified as Bader Al-Kabidi and Yasser Al-Rifai.


Footage filmed by one of the men showed Zaki standing on the edge of the boat while numerous whale sharks swam around it, but rather than leaving them in peace Zaki decided to get up close and personal with one of the massive fish.

See the footage below:


The brazen man appeared to be considering which shark to target, as he eyed up one swimming to the right of the boat before apparently changing his mind and going for one swimming on the left.


As the fish neared the boat, Zaki jumped right onto its back before leaning forward on all fours and grabbing onto its dorsal fin to hold his balance.

The shark didn’t appear to retaliate, but it seemed to come to a halt after Zaki climbed on, apparently unimpressed about having the man as a passenger.

Man rides whale shark@alalwaniabdulla/Newsflash

Bader and Yasser could be heard cheering towards Zaki after he made contact with the fish, though one of the men added, ‘Careful, it can swallow you.’


Whale sharks are the largest type of shark, weighing about 20 tons and reaching lengths of 40 feet or more, National Geographic reports.  They feed on plankton and are considered to be a gentle species, though that doesn’t give humans a right to mess with them.

The animals are considered endangered by the WWF due to a demand for their meat, fins and oil, and while they are currently listed as a vulnerable species, they continue to be hunted in parts of Asia, such as the Philippines.

Man rides whale shark in Red Sea@alalwaniabdulla/Newsflash

The footage of Zaki was shared widely in Saudi Arabia, prompting some people to condemn the three men for their actions.


One person responded:

Praise be to God, I see we have their names. I hope they will be arrested and held accountable for their reckless behaviour.

Man rides whale shark in Red Sea@alalwaniabdulla/Newsflash

Another added:


I fully agree, they must be held accountable. One day you get an idiot standing on the back of a turtle while it’s laying its eggs, then the next day you get this guy standing on a whale passing peacefully by and terrifying it. They are destroying nature.

Saudi authorities have made no comment on the incident.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: Animals, Now, Ocean, Saudi Arabia, shark, wildlife


National Geographic and 1 other
  1. National Geographic

    Whale Shark

  2. WWF

    Whale Shark

Emily Brown
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