An excited group of researchers experienced a close encounter of the giant-shark kind, and it turned out much better than in Jaws.
Ocean exploration group OceanX shared a video this week showing an absolute unit of a shark checking out a research team’s submersible in the Bahamas. The female bluntnose sixgill got up close and personal with the sub and appeared to taste-test a speargun on the outside of the vehicle.
The speargun the shark was checking out was specially designed to attach a satellite tag to the critters while they’re swimming in their natural habitats.
OceanX made history in late June when it tagged a shark from a submersible for the first time ever. Previously, researchers had only been able to tag bluntnose sixgill sharks by bringing them up to the surface, a process that can be stressful for the deep-sea animals.
“Typically, the data obtained after surface tagging of a sixgill is believed to be skewed, as the shark does not return to its natural behaviors for some time after the tagging,” the OceanX team wrote.
Despite its massive size, the bluntnose sixgill isn’t as famous as its great white kindred. It tends to stay in the dark depths of the ocean. “Little is known about it, and it is not considered a threat to humans unless it is provoked,” the Florida Museum says.
The OceanX video footage gives us a rare peak at this awe-inspiring behemoth. Just don’t look for it to star in Jaws V. According to the Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack File, there’s been only one documented attack on a human since the 1500s, and the bluntnose was provoked.
This was the perfect look-but-don’t-touch experience.