A bait box camera set up to capture footage of marine animals in their natural habitat has ended up in the jaws of a hungry tiger shark – and the hair-raising clip was shown during the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, which is currently taking place.
Shark Week is an annual, week-long schedule of programs on the Discovery Channel featuring everything to do with sharks. Since its inception in 1988, it has been a highlight in the calendar for shark lovers worldwide who are devoted to their conservation and correcting misconceptions about them.
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Former diver Paul de Gelder and marine ecologist Johan Gustafson are the pair behind the footage, although they never expected their camera to get up so close and personal to a shark. In the video, you can hear them saying in shocked tones, “Whoa it’s swallowed it, it's taken the whole box in its mouth!”
This unusual point of view of a shark’s mouth shows its flapping gums and menacing rows of razor-sharp teeth – not somewhere you’d want to go to retrieve a camera. It’s not clear whether the shark spat out the camera after realizing it wasn’t a tasty snack, but we can only hope it did for its own sake.
Sharks are stereotypically one of the most feared animals in the world, and films like Jaws and The Meg haven’t exactly helped this apex predator’s reputation. However, while sharks are big and scary and have teeth that can cause fatalities, most sharks will go their entire lives without ever coming into a contact with a human, according to the American Museum of Natural History (opens in new tab).
Statistically speaking you are more likely to be struck by lightning or killed in a car accident than get attacked by a shark. Though obviously that would have made Jaws a lot more boring.
This isn't the first time a camera has ended up a little bit too close for comfort to a predator with sharp teeth. Last year a TikTok video went viral after an alligator attacked a drone when it was flying too low (opens in new tab). Unfortunately for the gator, it bit down straight into the battery causing plumes of smoke to bellow from its mouth due to a chemical reaction that occurred.
There is a fine line between using cameras to monitor and study nature and getting so close to interfering with a wild animal. Of course, these divers never expected a shark to literally take the bait but at least they managed to capture something truly unique.