A wildlife encounter on a paddling trip is a bucket list item for many. But when said wildlife crosses personal space boundaries, well, the experience becomes less desirable. We’ve rounded the top 6 scariest paddling animal encounters on the internet for you to enjoy—from a safe distance, of course.

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6. A Kayaker’s Intimate Encounter With Basking Sharks
This kayaker was paddling through the waters of Ireland’s west coast when over half a dozen Basking Sharks surrounded his kayak. Basking Sharks’ jaws can expand up to 3 feet wide and, although they rarely attack humans, we can clearly see that it’s feeding o’clock for these fellas.
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5. Dolphin Wipes Out Standup Paddle Boarder
This Australian paddleboarder is no stranger to sharing the wave with dolphins. So, when he noticed the pod of dolphins surrounding him, he simply assumed they were herding fish. Turns out, one dolphin had its sights set on something bigger.
dolphin-hits-paddle-boarderWatch the video »

4. Way-Too-Close Encounter With Orca
This ocean SUPer was paddling off Kuaotunu Beach in New Zealand when a pod of orcas began diving for stingrays underneath his board. Things began to get a little tense when one orca swam up to take a bite on his board.
orcas-bites-paddleboardWatch the video »

3. Scary Hippo Encounter On The Lugenda River
The group was paddling on the Lugenda River in North Mozambique. The trip goes from placid to pulse-pounding when an unexpected hippo suddenly surfaces, threatening to swamp their boats.
Man in an inflatable boat encounters a hippoWatch the video »

2. Alligator Charges Kayak
A kayaker exploring a section of a North Carolina river found more than he expected when an alligator slammed into his boat. The nail-biting encounter goes from bad to worse when kayak capsizes.
alligator-charges-kayakWatch the video »

1. Kayakers Nearly Swallowed By Humpback Whale
Two whale-watchers off Avila Beach in California had a terrifying experience when a humpback overturned their kayak and appeared to nearly swallow them.

Humpback whale in California

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  1. A bit too much Drama Queen, I’d say. #6-5-4 have no record of ever killing/attacking a human being… #1, the humpback, same thing, in fact that incident shows that the whale came down on/near the boat but did not have it’s mouth open or otherwise in a feeding mode – The hippo is the bigger killer of humans than is the alligator – and what was that jerk doing in an inflatable raft in hippo waters?. Nice sensationalism, but that’s about it.


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