Photographer Captures Once In A Lifetime Shot Straight Into The Jaws Of Shark
A photographer came face-to-face with a great hammerhead shark and used the opportunity to take a once in a lifetime picture straight into the animal’s jaws.
The remarkable photo – an extremely close-up portrait of the smiling shark showing off its teeth – was captured underwater off the coast of Bimini in the Caribbean.
Other photos captured showed a fearless man hand feeding a giant hammerhead and a diver manoeuvring one of the predators away from the camera by its large snout.
You can watch more of the footage captured below:
The incredible shots were captured by acclaimed underwater photographer Ken Kiefer II on a winter trip to the Bahamian island – one of the few spots in the world where great hammerheads regularly frequent.
When asked if he was worried about swimming with the sharks, the 50-year-old photographer said: ‘Quite the opposite. We always look forward to any chance to share the water with these amazing endangered beauties.’
Following this particular photo of inside the shark’s mouth, Ken said the dome of his Ikelite housing equipment needed to be replaced ‘due to some teeth marks on the lens’.
This is because hammerheads have 360-degree vision in stereo due to their eye placement, meaning they can’t see the small area inches in front of their head or directly under. ‘Sometimes they might run into divers while searching for the bait,’ he explained.
Ken dives with Neal Watson’s Bimini Scuba Center, which he said is ‘the only place in the world to reliably and safely come inches from the largest of the hammer family, the Great Hammerhead’.
The 50-year-old continued:
We spend a lot of time in the water with sharks, but Great Hammers are without a doubt our favourite. Their incredibly huge dorsal fin, their musculature and unusual shape combine with their gracefulness to provide endless photo opportunities. They are more agile than most sharks and can turn on a dime.
I love the beauty of nature, and it’s always humbling to be in the water with any large predator. I feel much more calm and happy with sharks than any time I’m on the freeway with idiot drivers using their phones.
My wife Kimber and I spend a lot of time trying to spread the word about the importance of sharks in the world. As the apex predators in the ocean, they keep the balance and are critical to the ocean’s health.
The photographer, who has been creating underwater images for more than 20 years (10 of those professionally), says he loves creating images ‘to allow others to see the beauty of underwater’.
His motto is ‘anything underwater’, which Ken says can range from anything from predators, big animals, models, maternity, and a swim team – as long as it’s under the surface.
I also love being able to show people things that most won’t be able to see themselves.
I firmly believe that if more people could share the water with these predators, they would have a respect for them and not feel that they are just mindless beasts and might be a little more hesitant to label them as dangerous man-eaters.
The largest species of their type, great hammerhead sharks can grow up to 20ft in length and weigh up to half a ton, although smaller sizes are more common.
Although hammerheads are aggressive hunters – feeding on smaller fish, octopuses, squid, and crustaceans – they do not actively seek out human prey, only attacking when provoked.
The animal’s wide-set eyes give them a better visual range than most other sharks, and are successfully able to scan the ocean for food by spreading their highly specialised sensory organs over their wide, mallet-shaped head.
What incredible photos!
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