Manatee Steals Swimmer’s GoPro Camera, Can’t Quite Nail Selfie.

A playful manatee steals a diver's GoPro camera.

Manatees are known by a variety of nicknames. You can now add “thief” to that list! Some of the most well-known monikers include “sea cow,” floating potato,” and “mermaid.” The nicknames come from various places and relate more to the looks and personalities of manatees. The video selection today is a manatee with aspirations of greatness. They retrieved a GoPro camera on a selfie stick that was set down by a diver making equipment adjustments.

Manatee grasping a GoPro selfie stick.
Image from TikTok.

We’re unsure how the manatee managed to grasp the pole, but they were waving it around like they were in control. And they were, for a hot minute at least. It looked like the adventurer might be attempting to lift the camera to position it for a selfie.

Sea cow attempting to position a GoPro selfie stick.
Image from TikTok.

As you can see, the manatee is grasping the GoPro selfie stick with its flippers and seems to be attempting to control the camera at the end of the pole. Our still image above almost looks like the pole is resting on the sea floor, but we assure you, it is not. The manatee is floating with the camera suspended on the stick!


Victoria left her GoPro on the ground to fix her goggles I look down and a sneaky potato came and picked up the GoPro… like how 😂😭 #fyp #gooutside #florida #floridasprings #manatees #manateetiktok #funny #environment #floridatravel

♬ Oh my god what is that – Funny memes

The original poster added the video that the manatee recorded!


Replying to @nonnernancy she was having her moment ✨ @Skatey 𖥧𓍊 #florida #floridamanatee #manatee #springs #floridawildlife

♬ original sound – 🎄Speed Audios🎄

Exploring Manatee NickName Origins

The nickname “sea cow” is in place because manatees like to graze on vegetation. They are naturally slow and ambling, much like their land-based counterparts. Most sea cows are docile and float around being adorable, like floofy cows roaming in a field.

The floating potato nickname is based mostly on looks. A submerged sea cow looks like a floating baked potato in both shape and coloration. They swim very slowly, which also lends to the “floating” part of this nickname.

It has long been believed that manatees are the original mythical mermaids. The scientific name for manatees and dugongs is Sirenia. The word “siren” translates to mermaid in several languages. While tenuous, the connection between manatees and mermaids has been around for many centuries.

Floaty Potatoes Are Protected

There are several protection acts in place under state and federal law to protect manatees:

  • Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972
  • Endangered Species Act of 1973
  • Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978

If you are swimming and a floaty potato approaches you, there are certain things you should be aware of. Many people think that sea cows might be the “cats” of the sea. They are curious about humans and very social.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has published guidelines regarding manatees. We also found a nice video that outlines the way to handle it if a manatee approaches you while swimming.


Just a few tips if you encounter one of these floaty potatoes 🥔 thank you @guardianofthesprings for capturing a different angle of this encounter #manatee #ReadySetLift #manateetiktok #educateyourself

♬ _Cute – Gabe Lost

One of the most important bits of advice regarding manatees is not to touch them. They may swim close and touch you, but please do not reach out to “pet” them or push them away. Just remain still and calm, and they will swim away. Manatees are very docile and very curious. You are in their living room, and they want to see who is visiting.

If you enjoyed reading about this GoPro stealing sea cow, please share this.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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