Video has surfaced that appears to show the moment a scuba diver is bumped by a great white shark.
The footage shows a diver, using an umbilical breathing hose instead of traditional SCUBA gear, swimming along the bottom of the ocean and filmed from behind.
As the unidentified diver turns to look to his left, a large great white shark appears over his right shoulder and swims directly toward the diver’s head.
The shark opens its mouth, brushes against the diver’s head and swims away.
At first contact, the man grabs his head and attempts to dunk down. He then points his right arm toward the shark and the video ends.
At this point, Tracking Sharks has been able to ascertain concrete information on the head-butt video.
So is it real?
There have been several viral shark encounter videos that have been found to be digitally altered or thought to have been used for marketing purposes.
In 2014 a user named Terry Tufferson shared a video that reportedly showed a cliff diver jumping into the Sydney Harbour only to come face to face with a great white shark. The footage was posted as part of a two-year experiment on viral videos.
We can ascertain a few things from the head-butt video.
The gear setup is normally used so divers do not have restricted movement and can be supplied air from the surface; the blue object hanging from the man’s right could be an abalone knife.
Abalone divers often dive for hours at a time and have been known to encounter great white sharks.
The water color resembles a video shot of another close shark encounter.
In October 2015, a free diver was hunting fish off Cape Town, South Africa when a great white shark showed up. The greenish water is much darker than that off the head-butt video, but that could be due to the water depth and camera used.
Another issue that may be explained in the head-butt video is camera angle. The camera stays focused on the diver throughout the event. This could be because the camera was attached to the diver’s umbilical hose.
If so, it’s possible the man was turning to check the camera when the shark approached.
Finally, the shark is a male. If the shark image was digitally added, it would have been much easier to leave out the shark’s genitals.
At this point, with the limited information available, it seems quite plausible the video is real.
However, to be 100 percent certain, we would need more information.
CoastfishTV responded to our inquiry about the clip. They said that the video is of an abalone diver who was diving in South Africa.