The fish-eye lens feature was made for this very moment.
A British diver got a closer shark encounter than most people desire after a 10-foot-long great white lunged within feet of his face during a cage-diving expedition in South Africa.
Footage of the “Jaws”-dropping moment is currently making waves online.
“It was incredibly exciting,” videographer and shark dive guide Mark Graham, 31 told Media Drum World of the heart-pounding encounter, which occurred during a four-hour sharking excursion in Mossel Bay Harbor off of Klein Brak Beach.
It was organized by his company White Shark Ocean, a coalition of shark enthusiasts who provide “immersive shark experiences that give people a glimpse into the incredible lives beneath the surface.”
The Preston, England native said this particular expedition started off swimmingly after four inquisitive sharks started circling the boat and approaching the White-watchers in the cage.
Graham used a GoPro to capture the moment one of the beasts — which is the world’s largest predatory fish, growing to 20 feet long and weighing over 4,000 pounds — came within gnashing distance of the camera.
“This particular shark was maybe six to nine-feet from the boat,” he exclaimed.
In the accompanying footage, shot from both the cage and the boat, the shark can be seen breaching with its mouth agape à la the iconic “We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat” scene from Stephen Spielberg’s 1975 deep sea drama.
It then snatches a chunk of bait dangling from the boat and chomps down on it mere feet from the camera.
Graham said he was used to seeing the curious critters approaching slowly to investigate his vessel; however, this was a rare occasion where they displayed their full predatory potential.
“When we do have active days where the great whites show how effective they are as predators breaching out of the water and lunging for the bait it is amazing to see,” he gushed.
Despite the spine-tingling encounter, Graham claimed that none of his visitors “felt scared.”
He described, “Even the guests that initially didn’t want to get in the water changed their mind and got into the cage to experience the sharks underwater.”
Along with the Jaw-rassic Park-esque spectacle aspect of the experience, the shark enthusiast hopes these up-close encounters will help dispel the stereotype of the great white as a man-eating monster.
“I think humans have an instinctive fear of what they can’t see and don’t understand,” he said. “If you get the chance to see them in the wild go and see them, I guarantee your perception will change.”
Graham says he blames the media for “perpetuating and exaggerating negative stories about shark encounters.”
“I don’t think the reputation is justified, with more and more people using the ocean every year with only five fatal shark attacks in 2022, whilst humans kill over 11,000 sharks an hour,” he said.
Ultimately he sums up the shark hysteria like this: “Sharks are just sharks, they’re animals they’re not monsters, learn to appreciate them for what they are, not what you think they are and what they are important for, not how you feel about them.”