Menk says she doesn't think the alligator was actually getting a ride (they are quite capable in water on their own, after all), but the duo hardly seemed to mind swimming so close in tandem. They moved together like this for about 100 feet.
In fact, Menk suspects the odd arrangement might have even been the manatee's idea.
"The alligator was directly over her most of the time," she explained. "I've seen manatees scratch their back on kayaks and structures, so who knows, maybe she was getting a back scratch."