She said the encounter may be proof of a whale's intuitive nature to protect other species, including humans.
As Hauser returned to the safety of the boat, in the waters off Muri Beach, Rarotonga, the Cook Islands, the whale even came back to check on her.
The whale then shielded Nan underneath his pectoral fin and pushed her through the water to safety as another whale warded off the shark with its tail.
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The incident took place in October 2017 but the video was circulated widely on social media on Monday. Throughout the video, you can see the whale tucking the snorkeler under his pectoral fin and pushing Hauser with his massive head. It was only when she saw the animal moving its tail left to right, instead of up to down, that she realized it was not a whale but, rather, a potentially risky animal swimming towards her.
Hauser, who has been studying and swimming with whales for the last 28 years, says that she has never experienced such unusual interactions.
Dolphins have been known to exhibit protective behavior and many stories have been told, but Hauser had never experienced something like that with a humpback.
"I wasn't sure what the whale was up to when he approached me, and it didn't stop pushing me around for over 10 minutes".
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Hauser said that she was so focused on the whale, she didn't see the tiger shark lurking nearby.
During this unbelievable video, Hauser was unaware that a shark was nearby, and thought it was simply another whale coming to play (what a job, right?).
She likened the whale's altruistic actions to those of a firefighter, rushing to save people they don't know from a burning building. "Some say that it is 20 feet long".
The biologist hopes the footage will spark more research and awareness into the personalities of whales as it is the first time they have been caught on film protecting humans. In 2009, a humpback whale hoisted a seal out of the water to protect it from oncoming orcas.
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"They truly display altruism-sometimes at the risk of losing their own lives", she said.