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Sailors Divulge The Strangest Things They've Ever Seen At Sea

Sailors Divulge The Strangest Things They've Ever Seen At Sea
Image by skeeze from Pixabay

The vastness of the ocean remains an elusive wonder that continues to inspire exploration.

What we see on the surface is, as they say, the tip of the iceberg.

The one time I was certified and immediately went scuba diving in Cozumel, I was blown away by everything I saw while underwater.

All the National Geographic specials and documentaries about the depths of the ocean and its secrets could not have prepared me for what I witnessed firsthand.

I was captivated by all of the innocuous aquatic life that were alien to this nascent diver. I must admit, however, how much the silence creeped me out.

But those who have spent significant hours at sea probably have a whale of a tale – or two – to tell about rare sights and encounters they've witnessed and would chuckle at my amateur observations.

GeneralJagers visited askReddit and encouraged sailors to share their anecdotes by asking:

"Sailors of Reddit, what is one of the strangest things you've seen at sea?"

Floating Boulders

"The first time you see a large sea turtle is kinda strange they look like floating boulders."

"But the sea for as strange as it is is an amazing place as well seeing a flying fish or looking in the water and seeing fish as far as you can see is incredible."

"I saw this quote on one of these once: 'The sea gives and takes in equal measure.'"


"Blase About Dolphins"

"My absolute favourite thing to see on a four month trip in the Gulf and Indian Ocean was flying fish and a huuuuuuuuuuge Leatherback sea turtle I spotted sunning on the surface one evening."

"Get rather blase about dolphins, don't you? They're not at all a rare sight, especially out that way. Even UK coastal, I can guarantee to see dolphins and porpoises at least a couple times a day."


Curious White Shark

"I worked on a cage-diving boat off South Africa. I saw plenty of incredible things, but one day we had a 5+ meter female white shark come up next to the boat. She was completely uninterested in the cage, the chum, or the baitlines, but just kept hanging around, checking us out. The size of her was just incredible; every time she came back to the surface, my brain would refuse to process what I was seeing for a second. Like 'What IS that? Jesus, it's huge.' She was so calm and curious. For me, it was the first time that I had a clear understanding that there's some kind of intelligence going on in that brain, even if it's completely alien."


Sphere Of Stars

"I used to be in the Navy, and out in the middle of the ocean at night can be calming and odd at the same time."

"One night, I recall the sea was incredibly flat and calm, even out 1,000 miles from shore. The sky was clear and you could see every star in the sky. The really neat, creepy, and vertigo inducing thing was the stars reflected in the water and it looked like I was standing inside of a sphere of stars."

"It really was incredible but it actually made me a bit dizzy because of the rocking of the ship and the feeling of not really knowing which way was up."



"A dolphin swimming with a sponge in his mouth."

"The crew member I was with asked if I knew why the dolphin has a sponge in his mouth. I didn't know, of course. He said because dolphins have no hands."


"So Derpy"

"I was out sailing alone and a couple of huge ocean sunfish came up next to my boat. They are so derpy, but the size of those things up close is pretty shocking."


They're Magical And Some Are Dumba**es

"I've always sailed around Europe, so the first time I came into waters where flying fish are a thing was a trip. I thought I'd seen flying fish before but it turns out those were just jumping fish. Flying fish really do skim over the water really long distances! They're magical."

"And overnight some of the dumba**es end up on your deck and then die there. That's kinda sad."


Floating Sanctuary

"Was out boating one day and a harbour seal flops up onto my boat (which was moving at the time, albeit not particularly fast) and displays absolutely no interest in getting off. At first I thought he just didn't want to jump off a moving boat, so I slowed right down, but he still stayed put. Then I thought he was disoriented or something and I got down towards the stern to shoo him away."

"It was then that I noticed that I was being tailed by a pod of orcas, which was presumably the reason why my new guest had made himself at home on my boat. They encircled the boat and stayed there for ~30 minutes, which was both amazing (closest I'd ever been to an orca by far, nevermind a whole pod of them) and somewhat terrifying (the boat I was on was a 20 footer, so reasonably sized, but not so large that I liked my chances of not capsizing if the orcas decided they 'really' wanted their dinner)."

"They eventually lost interest and moved on; the seal hopped off and swam away in the other direction a few minutes later."


Well, I Otter...

"Left my sailboat anchored off the coast of Saturna island. Go visit friends, spend the night on land. Next day, on my way back, as I'm rowing and getting closer to my boat, I can swear there is a sound coming from my boat. Some sort of small commotion is happening. As I go up my ladder, in ninja mode, I'm trying to figure out wtf...I see 2 otters, laying in a bed of fish carcasses , f'king...on my deck. They haven't noticed me yet and so I do the polite thing and cough a bit. That was not the best idea as they freaked out when they saw me, starting panicking and insuring that the fish guts would get absolutely everywhere in my navigation tools and seats. There was no real damage but I'll never forget the sound of otters f'king."


Green Phenomenon

"I wouldnt say strange, more just amazing and pretty rare. I saw the green flash one morning while on watch somewhere in the Mediterranean sea. Sea was smooth as glass, sky was gorgeous. I was on the bridge wing drinking my coffee and having a smoke just before sunrise and I happened to be looking at the right spot at the right time as the sun crested the horizon. The smallest brightest flash of green and then the sun started climbing."


Coolest And Most Surreal

"Algae blooms. North Red Sea in 2003. Pitch black night (no moon or cloud cover), except for a billion points of starlight reflecting in the ocean's obsidian. The sea was calm, no whitecaps or even any swells really. I was a Quartermaster in the US Navy and was standing the mid watch (0000-0400 and a Quartermaster or QM is a specialist in nautical navigation for those who aren't well versed in the Navy)."

"So we're transiting the Red Sea headed south toward the Bab-Al Mendeb straight, I'm on the bridge wing shooting stars, and all of a sudden the ocean starts exploding with bright green algae. Starts off in a ball the size of a basketball or volleyball, and very quickly blossomed out hundreds of feet on any direction. Our ship was 505' (154m) long and these blooms were easily encompassing the ship. Bright a** green circles of algae, glowing like you dropped a neon green highlighter under a black light. It happened towards the start of my watch and went on for at least two hours. All around us. Photo-plankton reacts to itself (maybe as a defense mechanism?) and it wasn't just in our wake, or in our immediate vicinity. It was for a couple hundred yards in any direction. To this day it was easily the coolest and most surreal things I've seen on the ocean."

"Other things include millions of dragonflies (Northern Arabian Gulf), a rescue at sea (Virginia coast known in the Navy as the VACAPES), giant manta rays breaching that I almost ran over in the Captian's Gig (Cuba), huge sea turtles at the surface (various places), clearest water I've ever seen (like 100' crystal clear vis, Souda Bay, Crete), and I'm sure a whole host of things I've forgotten. I miss the ocean."


People Who Actually Died And Were Revived Share Their Experiences

"Reddit user AlaskaStiletto asked: 'Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?'"

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.

In 2017, I returned to my office after my lunch break to hear my supervisors discussing Tom Petty. This seemed like a random topic to me until one of my supervisors told me Tom Petty had passed away. He was a huge fan of Petty and spent the next hour or so combing through the internet to get more information.

He came back into the room my other supervisor and I were working in and announced that Tom Petty wasn't dead after all. News outlets had jumped the gun to announce his death, but he was actually still alive.

The next day, I came in to find out that Tom Petty was dead; the news may have been premature, but true.

This is a classic example of the rumor being started on the internet. Sometimes, like with the news of Tom Petty's death, the rumor can run wild and appear everywhere. Other times, the rumor can be seen by just a few people and dismissed. However, a lot of times, these rumors turn out to be true.

Redditors know a lot of internet rumors that turned out to be true, and are eager to share.

It all started when Redditor strakerak asked:

"What started out as an internet rumor that ended up being infamously true?"

The King Of Pop

"Michael Jackson writing the music for Sonic 3."

"He actually did, but was never credited on the game because it would breach his contract with his record label."

– -WigglyLine-

"He did the same when he appeared on The Simpsons. He appeared under a pseudonym, and the Producers said it was an impersonator."

"Only years later they confirmed it really was Michael."

"His singing voice was actually done by an impersonator, though."

– given2fly_

The Truth Comes Out

"In 1998, US Men’s National Team captain John Harkes was shockingly cut from the team right before the World Cup. The coach claimed it was because Harkes wouldn’t fit into his new preferred formation, but rumors flew on the early internet that it was actually because he had slept with his teammate Eric Wynalda’s wife. The rumor was so well-known in soccer circles that Harkes expressly denied it in his autobiography the next year."

"Fast forward 12 years to 2010 and Wynalda admits it’s true. The coach then came out and admitted it was why he dropped Harkes, but that he’d planned to keep the secret as long as Wynalda did."

– guyfromsoccer

Video Evidence

"The Tim Burton Hansel and Gretel that aired once on halloween in the 80's."

"I heard for years that it was fake but I knew it was real because my dad recorded everything in the 80s and he recorded that. We let a good friend of ours borrow it and switch it over from VHS to DVD and soon after that it made its way on to the internet , and there it is now. I know it's our copy because the tracking in the beginning is screwed up. Still have the VHS."

– Frozenthickness

"There was a similar story with a Nickelodeon movie called Cry Baby Lane. It was supposed to be so scary that Nickelodeon got complaints and denied its existence for years. Someone uploaded a taped copy to youtube about a decade ago."

– PattiAllen

The Movie Business

"That North Korea hacked Sony Pictures because of The Interview movie."

"I worked in the movie business at the time and the account managers at Sony all basically needed to get new identities as all of their personal information got leaked online."


"My partner worked on that movie and the production bought all the crew 1 year of an identity theft tracking service."


Keep Away From The Ears Of Kids

"Some banned episodes or scenes of cartoons."

"For example, I remember there was a Dexter’s Lab cartoon where he clones evil versions of DeDe and himself and they swear like every other word (censored of course), and people debated whether it even existed cause they only aired it like once. Now it’s pretty accessible online."

– Spledidlife

Yes, It's True

"Echelon, a massive electronic espionage system by the US and allies to intercept all electronic messages, especially emails."

"In the mid-nineties it was a topic on conspiracy BBS boards. A lot of people in my bubble at the time (mainly uni students in Europe) were including fake threats to the US in the their email signatures as a way to "protest" and "fill the system with false alarms" (obviously useless)."

"Then, in 1999-2000 came out to be true and a lot of security service agencies from UK and other US allies started to admit they were part of the espionage network."

– latflickr

How The Mighty Fell

"John Edward’s love child."

– ACam574

"A reminder that he was cheating on his wife while she was hospitalized for cancer treatment."

– Fanclock314


"Carrie Fisher's heart attack. Some a**hole who was on the same flight was livetweeting the whole medical emergency and justified it by insisting she was just making sure the family was informed."

– everylastlight

It Actually Happened

"Every year around her birthday there was a rumor that Betty White died. When I heard she died, I scoffed, saying that dumb rumor is back.... then saw it on the news. I was in shock."

– Known-Committee8679

"The fact that Betty died literally right before she turned 100 is such a Betty White way to go out."

– Paganigsegg

Big Actor, Small Roles

"I distinctly remember some rumors about the reason why Bruce Willis was taking so many roles in sh*tty movies before it was announced he has dementia."

– KampferMann

"RedLetterMedia did a deep dive on his recent movie activity to try and work out why exactly he was taking part in basically scam-movies. They noticed he had an earpiece in one of the scenes and joked that the director was feeding him lines. I remember they even disclaimed over the rumours at the time, and possible made a follow-up vid when it was revealed to the public."

– CardinalCreepia

What To Do Next?

"That the writer of LOST were making it up as they went."

"Turned out to be absolutely true."

– homarjr

That last one was kind of obvious!

Do you have any to add? Let us know in the comment below.