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WARNING: CONTAINS CONTENT SOME MAY FIND DISTRESSING
Footage shows the moment a man leaps off a boat and lands on the back of a whale shark, which goes on to swim off with him clinging on to its dorsal fin.
Local media reports the footage was shot in the Red Sea, near Yanbu city in Saudi Arabia.
The footage, which has been shared extensively in the region, begins with the man on a boat, which is slowly edging towards a pod of endangered whale sharks (Rhincodon typus).
As he nears one of the animals, it starts to swim peacefully below the boat - at which point the man clambers down into the water and lands on the back of the filter-feeding large fish, which are incredibly rare in the Red Sea.
The whale shark then swims off with the man clinging on to its fin.
His friends on the boat nearby shout and cheer as the man rides off.
One of the other men can be heard shouting to him: "Careful, it can swallow you."
The man's stunt has divided viewers, with some impressed by the footage.
"I want to try," one person commented, with another saying the man was clearly 'strong'.
A third added: "A brave man, God saves him."
Others, meanwhile, haven't been quite so full of praise, and have condemned the actions of the man and his friends.
One said: "I hope they will be arrested and held accountable for their reckless behaviour."
Another wrote: "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."
The whale shark is the world's largest fish, and is listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List due to the impacts of fisheries, by-catch losses and vessel strikes, along with the animal's long lifespan and late maturation.
The Saudi authorities have not yet commented on the incident.
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