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Steve Irwin's ghost greets diver -- or does it? -- at Australia's Batt Reef

December 17, 2008 |  3:01 pm

Steve Irwin hugs a baby alligator at the San Francisco Zoo in 2002.

Italian scuba diver Pino Termini has either a) spent too much time in the sun; b) been holding his breath too long during dives, or c) really did see the ghost of Steve Irwin during a recent dive along Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Specifically, the former Italian Navy diver was exploring Batt Reef near Port Douglas, and is quoted on the allnewsweb.com website as saying:

"As I started my dive I saw somebody and was surprised because I saw no other boats around, then I noticed that the person had no oxygen tank or mask; the person swam towards me and I realized that it was none other than the Crocodile Hunter himself: Steve Irwin. I freaked out, but he looked calm and at peace.

"I have seen a lot underwater but never a ghost. It was as if he was looking after the spot where he met his end, I felt that I should not impose myself on his turf as it was his and it seemed as if he was caring for the living creatures there."

Batt Reef is where Irwin, the star of Animal Planet's "Crocodile Hunter" series, was pierced by a stingray, and later died, in September 2006.

Does Irwin's spirit remain in the shape and form of the man as he appeared while alive?

There is, at the very least, one believer.

—Pete Thomas

Photo: Steve Irwin hugs a baby alligator at the San Francisco Zoo in 2002.

Credit: Getty Images