This footage shows the encounter between fishermen and three large whale sharks nudging his boat as they search for a snack.
The sharks were spotted basking and eating plankton on the surface of the water just off Anna Maria Island, Florida, where they came across the fishing boat last week.
The video clip shows the huge sharks gracefully rubbing against the side of the ship as it crosses their path.
Fishing guide and boat captain David White, 39, was thrilled he and his fishing team had the chance to spot the largest fish in the world.
David, from Bradenton, Florida, said: “We kept our distance so as not to disturb the animals, but one swam directly over to the vessel and was feeding right in front of us.
“I see whale sharks about once a year, if I’m lucky.
“My first thought was about the large Cobia that sometimes follow the large sharks. Cobia are a big fish and extremely good to eat.
“A common misconception with these particular sharks is that they are dangerous, when actually, they eat plankton, krill, and fish eggs. Totally harmless animals.”
The whale shark is the largest species of any fish, growing to about 42ft in length and weighing 20.6 tons. The longest one ever recorded measured in at 61ft.
They swim at a slow pace and feed by opening their giant mouths to swallow plankton and fish. They have an average life span of 70 years.
Found in tropical waters, the whale shark is an endangered species and its population is decreasing.
David added: “Hopefully this video will show how peaceful, majestic, and harmless these beautiful creatures are.”