Florida Gator Sneaks up on Woman in Viral Video Watched 18M Times

A woman's brilliant reaction to a Florida alligator creeping up on her is going viral online, owing to her very relatable response.

CapeCoral.Jade shared a clip to TikTok on Tuesday, showing her and some pals fishing in the Everglades. Jade is filming a man, who she referred to as Joey, standing on a storm drain with plastic bait on the end of a line, hoping to entice a gator.

In the background of the clip a woman, thought to be Jade, says: "Watch me fall in." She asks "where'd he go," referring to an alligator, and jokes the reptile knows it's "plastic."

She zooms in on the water and when she zooms back out, a giant gator is just a few feet from her, but she doesn't notice it immediately.

A few seconds later she spots the gator eyeing her up, and shrieks: "Oh my god, holy s***." She quickly backs up, while another woman off-camera, thought to be called Jessica, also swears.

"Guys I'm not kidding I just s*** myself," Jessica repeats a few times. A man off-camera warns this is the reason you "do not ever sit down" with your legs dangling over the edge. And he adds the gator was probably "there the whole time," but they just "didn't see it."

The video, captioned "Florida Everglades never fails to amuse and terrify," has amassed more than 18 million views.

In the comments, Jade explained more about the situation, saying: "Jessica is Joey's (the one fishing) little sister. She was sitting on the storm drain when he popped up. I can assure you, they didn't see him either."

She added she was "born and raised" in Cape Coral, saying she and her friends watched the clip back later on to see when the gator appears in shot.

"Yeah, we saw he was there once we reviewed the clip. But I swear he wasn't when we first walked up. Got us!" she wrote. And she confirmed she and her friends are often out on the water, admitting: "Born and raised and do this all the time. Just weren't on our toes that day."

Numerous people commented on the clip, which can be seen here, in shock, as Skylar Denton asked: "The fact that I saw it before ya'll makes me wonder how ya'll have survived this long."

"Do they not know gators can run up," Bailey Warner said.

Jami noted: "The fact it stayed hidden until it knew it was seen."

While Clare thought: "Omg but you can see its face in the water right at the very beginning!"

In another TikTok clip, Jade spoke about her reverence for the local wildlife, saying: "The Florida alligator is a protected species and we are in a protected place. We might talk big, but we respect this place and all the things that call it home so deep in our souls.

"Each of us were born and raised here in Florida and have grown up with its wildlife. They have more claim to this place than we ever could and they have all our respect. We hope you enjoy coming on our adventures with us."

Newsweek reached out to Jade for comment.

File photo of an alligator.
File photo of an alligator. A woman's brilliant reaction after a gator sneaks up on her is going viral online. Getty Images/joe32780