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‘Fever’ of 100+ stingrays glides within inches of Florida swimmers

At times, stingrays have been found in groups of thousands.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Clermont family recorded a mind-blowing video Friday from the rooftop restaurant at the Lani Kai Island Resort in Fort Myers Beach.

Dana Baquero says his daughter was first to spot the jaw-dropping sight from the Sun Deck while the family was visiting relatives.

As they watched in amazement, a group of more than 100 stingrays glided through the water – passing between the sandy shoreline and swimmers who were standing in knee-deep water in the Gulf of Mexico.

“They’re just kind of swimming through. Excuse us, we’re coming through,” Dana’s wife, Carrianne Conidaris, is heard saying in the video.

While one woman could be seen pointing and skipping away, most beachgoers seemed oblivious to the cartilaginous fish passing just feet away.

“Oh people move. Oh people move. Oh people move,” a worried Carrianne could be heard repeating as the stingrays swam directly toward a child in the water.

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Gracefully, however, the rays separated and skirted around both sides of the young person – as if conditioned to do so as part of a choreographed dance.

“That kid has no idea what the hell just happened,” Baquero quipped.

As the stingrays continued swimming along the shoreline, they spooked a group of five people who were enjoying sitting in the shallow water. As the rays made their way around that group, a few passed just inches away from one man.

A group of stingrays – like this – would be called a fever.

Contrary to what some believe, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says stingrays are not aggressive and pose very little danger to humans.  They do have defensive venomous barbs, which are found by the base of their tails.

FWC encourages beachgoers to shuffle their feet when wading into the water to reduce the risk of stepping on a ray’s barb.

RELATED: Watch: Playful dolphins follow Sarasota Marine Patrol officers' boat

RELATED: ZooTampa is reopening a renovated Stingray Bay, a year after 12 rays died suddenly

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