Photographer Richard Jones spotted the surprising scene while out for a walk with his son along the Ocklawaha River in Ocala, Florida. The pair had evidently startled the raccoon before he leaped on the alligator's back in an inadvisable bid for safety.
Perhaps equally as amazing as the photograph is the lucky way the incident ended, Jones told news station WFTV:
"I snapped a lucky picture right when the gator slipped into the water and before the raccoon jumped off and scurried away. Without the context you'd think the raccoon was hitching a ride across the river. Pretty amazing. Definitely the photo of a lifetime."