After a man posted a video of himself hitching a ride on the fin of a whale shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month, the legalities on shark riding were called into question. Well, exciting news for all you daredevils/total morons out there: Riding a wild shark in the ocean is a perfectly legal (and stupid) thing to do.
Sharks are listed by the World Wildlife Fund as a protected species (both the whale shark and the great white shark have extinction statuses listed as "vulnerable"), but there are no restrictions on whether or not a person could ride one. That said, you really shouldn't do it — not because it will chomp your face off, but because it can potentially cause major harm to the shark.
As Dr. Bob Hueter, the director of the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory, told TV station WSTP, "They [whale sharks specifically] can't hurt you but we can hurt them with too much contact."
Sharks, as pointed out before, are already at major risk of extinction, thanks mostly to hunters and man-made environmental issues. And now we're trying to get on their backs literally as well as figuratively — which is the last thing these sharks need.
But if shark riding still sounds cool and you want to try it, please proceed by following these three simple steps.
1. Don't ride a shark.
2. Seriously, don't ride one.
3. Stop being such a selfish human fuck and don't ride sharks.
Image via Shutterstock.