Dolphin Protects Divers From a Shark in Incredible Viral Video

A video of divers apparently being protected from a shark in the ocean has gone viral online, having attracted more than 2.2 million views.

The footage, which was posted to TikTok by diver Kayleigh Grant on September 6, begins with a dolphin swimming alongside two divers.

Text overlaying the clip explains: "We were swimming with a friendly rough toothed dolphin when suddenly a shark appeared."

A large Oceanic whitetip shark, can then be seen heading towards Grant, as the text reads: "The shark came in close to investigate. This shark was very gentle but the dolphin was concerned for us.

Grant, who is a professional dive instructor based in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, then explained: "The dolphin seemed to want to protect us from the shark by circling and vocalizing."

The footage shows the dolphin swimming around the duo at speed as the text adds: "The dolphin would herd us together in a ball for safety! What a beautiful soul. I wish we all cared as much a this sweet dolphin."

Grant captioned the impressive footage, which can be watched here, writing: "What a sweet #dolphin [cute-face emoji] #hawaii #shark."

In an interview with Newsweek, Grant called the incident a "true testament" to dolphins' "emotions and care toward humans."

"It was a beautiful experience. Though we weren't afraid of the shark, it seemed like the dolphin was concerned for us."

She also revealed that she has swum with dolphins in the wild many times "but this dolphin circled us very closely for about 30-45 minutes. I've only had interactions like this about a handful of times!"

The video has gained lots of traction online having surpassed 600,800 likes. More than 5,600 people have also rushed to the comments section to share their thoughts on the animal's actions.

One TikTok user, KK, wrote: "Sharks are pretty gentle, the footage we tend to see is of them hunting, this is just a curious sea puppy."

Another person, Manos Panagiotou, added: "God placed different creatures across the Earth to protect us."

Frankaistcool shared: "And we are literally polluting their home... This saddens me so much."

Misty typed: "Dolphins are well known for protection humans from danger, esp sharks. They are incredible creatures!"

Julian revealed: "Whenever I see dolphins in the water I always feel safe."

Lauren gushed: "So I guess we don't deserve dogs or dolphins now this is too sweet."

But why do dolphins sometimes help humans? Well, scientist have found that dolphins are large-brained, social and incredibly intelligent.

One theory, according to the Dolphins-World, is that this inclination to help humans is due to empathy. The site explains: "Thanks to its sense of echolocation, a dolphin can hear the heartbeat and realize when a person is helpless.

"It is the moment when they act as they would do it with a mate."

However, it also outlines that other researchers feel that the motivating factor is not empathy but is "a symbiotic relationship of help-reward" because they know humans find fish.

Grant advised: "If you want to view dolphins please do so in the wild and don't support captivity. These animals are so intelligent they should not be in a prison.

"If you want to protect the ocean please use reusable items and not single use plastic, use reef safe sunscreen (zinc only), and eat less or no seafood."

A dolphin
Stock image of a dolphin. On TikTok, a video shows a dolphin apparently protecting divers from a shark. iStock