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Experienced Sailors Share the Things They’ve Witnessed While at Sea, and Some of Their Stories Even Deserve to Be Filmed

Seas and oceans are so vast that a human brain can hardly imagine what treasures and secrets they hide. Perhaps that’s the reason why this Reddit thread, where experienced sailors were asked to share the weirdest and most supernatural stuff they have witnessed while at sea, became so popular.

We at Bright Side like supernatural things, in general, and the ones that happen at sea, in particular. Some of the stories that we collected are so unbelievable and mind-blowing that any director could easily make a hit movie with their help.

  • When I was roving patrol on a submarine, I always thought I saw someone walking parallel to me down the upper-level missile compartment. If I was on the port side then I saw them on the starboard side and vice-versa. I always chalked it up to pipes and valves creating weird shadows. Additionally, it felt “heavy” on that level, like there was some sort of presence — the feeling you get when someone’s watching you.

    I never told anyone, then one day a few weeks into patrol, one of the other rovers asked me if it felt “weird” up there. He specifically said that he saw someone up there too, just like I had. We shared stories and then talked to the third rover and he said, “I only go up there to do my rounds every hour then get out of that haunted level.” © praxis4 / Reddit

  • Spent a lot of time sailing commercially in the Irish Sea, on night watch you are always acutely aware of everything around you due to the silence and darkness. Some of the sounds you hear are deeply unsettling. I remember on a perfectly still night just hearing a gentle knocking noise coming from what seemed like the outside of the hull at the waterline. No idea what it was but it freaked me out. © Brockers55 / Reddit
  • Distress flares in the middle of the Indian Ocean, sailing Nigeria-Japan at night when I was a Third Mate. Looked less than 4 miles away. Altered course to it, called the Old Man. Found nothing and no one over the course of 2 hours. I was the only one to see it, and I know what I saw. (My watchman was down closing cabin shades.) I understand why we had to move on. Keeps me up some nights though. Did we come so close to saving someone’s life, and just leave them there? Alone in the ocean. No food or water. Did someone think they were rescued but we ended up too far from them? Should we have waited until daytime? Did I just hallucinate? © RoCNOD / Reddit
  • Last summer my crewmember and I were both falling asleep on a perfectly calm night when the whole boat started violently shaking. I wasn’t sure if a tree had surfaced and punched through the hull or if we were somehow hitting bottom, etc. until we both storm out to the back deck in our underwear to jump in the skiff. Then, in the 10:30 PM sunset, we witnessed the cliffs around us shed layers of house-sized boulders with dust plumes hundreds of feet into the air. It was deafening.
    Turns out it was a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Luckily, the tsunami was very small, but I’ve never been in a tsunami. My crewmember was posted up on the stern and I at the helm, scouring the horizon so we could motor into the wave of a lifetime. © tacobellfan123 / Reddit

  • Have you ever seen ~30-40 (as best as I could determine) Humpback whales feeding together? I know this isn’t supernatural but one whale is so seldom seen by people, let alone 30 scooping up krill at the same time. I’ll never forget that. © DetectiveTank / Reddit

  • One of the crew was up furling sails and was about to step out onto the footrope that runs along the yard. He said he got an overwhelming urge to not step on it and felt a tug on his harness, keeping him from stepping out. He was so freaked out he kept the other 2 guys behind him from getting on the line as well. The other guys started getting a really bad feeling too, and they decided to check out the footrope. It had been really degrading on the inside, even though the outside looked mostly fine.
    The line probably would have snapped as they climbed out there, and they would have fallen, as you are pretty much free climbing until you get to a stopping point. © ToTheSeaAgain / Reddit
  • The ocean water was so still, it appeared that we were sailing on glass, not one ripple. I have never seen this since. © TheLatty / Reddit

  • In the Gulf of Aden, after having been at sea for a while and with absolutely blistering heat, I heard my nickname called 3 times. Clearly and loudly. It was my first time with this particular crew and none of them knew my nickname. My best guess is dehydration and stress, but I’ll never forget it. © imarriedanarcissist / Reddit
  • The closest to supernatural or at least something I can’t explain happened halfway between Cornwall and the Scillies. We were sailing in a fresh breeze, 5-6 ft. swells maybe. That’s perfectly fine sailing weather, but the boat will rock and there will be quite a bit of noise from the wind, the sails, and waves. So we sail happily along when suddenly the sea gets perfectly flat and everything is quiet like somebody turned the sound off. I look around and the water is pitch dark. It only lasted for a minute and then everything was back to normal but it gave me a really eerie feeling. © SicarioCercops / Reddit
  • Flew helicopters in the Navy for a few years. On my first deployment to Southeast Asia, I was flying over the Sea of Japan and saw a large pulsing aura of red light far enough below the surface that I could not make out a source. We were 30ish miles from shore and had not been briefed on any assets in the area that might make something like that make sense. No erroneous indications on instruments or radio chatter. Just slow steady pulsing red light. We saw it, circled it a few times, made a note of the time and location we encountered it, and my crew chief asked if I wouldn’t mind getting out of there. So we finished our transit and I made a note of everything in my debrief. I passed it up the chain of command but they basically wrote it off as some sort of visual phenomenon we had from a long day of flying in dry suits. © sanesteve2020 / Reddit
  • Took this picture in the middle of the sea. One of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. It was taken at 4 AM (night). You can see the sun barely rising at the horizon (red color), but in the skies, thru the crack in the clouds, it looked like in the middle of the day. Never seen that before. © Lauris024 / Reddit
  • I crewed on a tall ship and we were anchored with a bunch of others in a harbor. We had to take shifts at night because it was an old boat and did weird things. I was on shift in the little steering cabin when I heard someone running around the deck. I thought it was one of the other crew so I poked my head out and told them to knock it off. They kept running and I was afraid they’d slip so I followed them. We went around the whole ship twice before I caught up with a shapeless shadow which stopped and flew directly up into the air. Convinced it was a prank, I walked back to the end of the boat when I saw we had drifted on anchor and were almost under the bow of a much larger ship. I called the rest of the crew and we sorted it out. But I might not have noticed until too late if it weren’t for the weird shadow. © High-Heels_and_Books / Reddit
  • I was a sailor in the navy. While I was on lookout duty on the bridge at night, a dude walked and stood beside me, breathing hard. I was looking out at sea and I was blocking the stairs going down, so I turned around to whisper “sorry,” and what do you know, there was no one. © wolf-bot / Reddit

What was the most supernatural thing that ever happened to you?

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