I’ve become convinced Alligators have a sense of curiosity. Why or how it’s used I have no clue. These are not animals with a large brain capacity.
Sometimes they use it to be aware of when to flee. That is most common when around people.
I have recently seen them (more than one) swim or drift closer to us with no other intent other than to see what we are doing. They will almost always keep their distance.
I do want to learn more about their eye sight. That might also explain their actions.