A video posted online shows the moment a great white shark nearly bites a diver.
Roxy Zunckel of Roxy’s Scuba School said the carcass of a dead whale was anchored in the Aliwal Shoal off South Africa in August 2015. The marine-protected area is a known host to a large population of gray nurse sharks and is often visited by dolphins and manta rays.
According to Zunckel, great white sharks do not often visit the shoal; however, the presence of the dead whale brought in the predators.
While several divers were in the water, one diver in particular got extremely close to the shark. The unidentified diver appears to be attempting to either pet the shark or, possibly, ride the shark.
The video also shows massive amounts of exhaust bubbles coming from the diver’s regulator. The large quantity of bubbles indicates the diver was breathing rapidly which could have been caused by physical exertion or nervousness.
While the great white initially does not seem bothered by the diver’s touch as it swims out of camera view, things appear to change rapidly once the shark returns. As the diver floats near the surface, the great white can be seen approaching from below.
The great white shark nearly bites the diver who appears to pull his legs away from the shark as he pushes the shark away from his body.
While Zunckel believes the shark may have been warning the diver it did not want to be touched, the shark could also have been curious about the diver, and attempted to feel what the diver was by using its mouth. Had the shark not wanted to be touched, it is more likely that it would have displayed an immediate aggressive response when touched.