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Surprise! A huge manta ray makes sudden appearance in surfer's photo at a Florida beach

Rusty Escandell was taking pictures of a surfer and didn't even realize what his photo captured until he got home.
Credit: Rusty Escandell
A manta ray photobombed a surfer at Satellite Beach on March 14, 2021.

Sometimes you're in the right place at the right time. That was definitely the case for Rusty Escandell, who was at Satellite Beach on the east coast of Florida, with his son, taking a photo of surfers.

Escandell told 10 Tampa Bay that he was at the beach Sunday with his family and friends and didn’t even realize what happened.

"I was photographing surfers and wildlife (birds) and I was using burst mode on my camera following a surfer when I notice a splash behind him. But didn't realize what it was till I was home reviewing the pictures,” Escandell said.

There, in the photos, was a massive manta ray.

Escandell added, "Both my daughters are marine biologists. The oldest was on the beach with us and she has spotted them long after the picture was taken. So it was cool to find it among the pictures of that day."

Escandell posted one photo on his Facebook page and got quite the reaction. 

"Wow!! That's the shot of the century there!! Needs to be a cover for Fla Sportsman," commented Wanda Clay Armstrong.

Morgana Haertjens commented, "I live here and I've never seen anything like that it's amazing!!"

"I saw it at Hightower on Sunday was massive!," said Brandon Childers.

Escandell said, "I am so humbled by all the many people amazed and enjoying this shot. Really happy to see the exposure marine life is getting."

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