A photographer has captured the moment a great white shark lunged out of the ocean, coming just inches from his hand.
Commercial abalone diver Luke Thom, 26, captured the incredible moment with a camera he was holding over a shark cage just off the coast of South Australia.
The pictures show the five-metre great white baring its teeth as it bites the corner of the metal cage which, I’m sorry, is waaay too close for comfort in my opinion.
The diver was in the cage off the Neptune Islands, saying he was inspired to get so close to the terrifying shark by one of his friends, who insisted on getting up close and personal with the great white.
I was watching Andrew Fox taking these incredible photos of great white sharks so I thought I’d try to get a shot of him getting his photo because of how close he gets to them with the fish-eye camera.
Holy s**t is probably the most common reaction. I see a story and a moment in the photo. It’s not like watching a video. You can look at a photo and imagine what is going on.
These sharks are pretty incredible animals and they need protection and minimal human impact.
The waters around the Neptune Islands, where the pictures were taken, are a popular shark sighting spot – and it’s easy to see why.
The Neptunes comprise of two pairs of islands, known as the North and South Neptunes. Male great whites, which measure up to five metres long, inhabit the islands all year round.
Female great whites measure up to nearly six metres long and only flock to the Neptunes in the winter, when seal pups start entering the ocean.
Of course, Thom isn’t the only person to go cage diving; year after year, tourists, cinematographers and marine biologists gear up with camera equipment and attempt to get up close and personal with the great white shark.
Sometimes though, it doesn’t go to plan – as one tourist in Gansbaai, South Africa, found out when they captured the moment a great white attempted to attack them in the cage.
The footage showed the terrifying shark bashing its mighty head against the cage while the heart-stopping screams of the cage divers can be heard, with one person audibly yelling ‘Oh god!’ as the shark churns up the water into a frenzy.
Take a look below:
The shark then goes away but circles back for another attempt, its mouth horrifyingly close as it shoves its nose through the bars.
A view from above the water shows the shark’s fin speeding along the surface. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.
Well, I don’t know about you guys but that’s enough to put me off swimming for life – never mind cage diving.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).