WARNING: Video contains profanity (and also was shot vertically, which some may find more offensive than the profanity)
YouTube user Bryan Plummer‘s video of a white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) getting its head caught in a shark cage has gone viral and was all over the U.S. national news this morning. The video was shot by Plummer on March 21 and documents a white shark swimming into a shark cage, which appears to have at least two divers in it. Unfortunately, the shark’s head breached the “viewing port” in close proximity to one of the cage divers. Fortunately, no divers were harmed in the incident and the shark managed to free itself.
White sharks lack the ability to swim backwards, so the thrashing seen in the video is not uncommon when a shark gets entangled or caught as was the case in the situation.
In what appears to be a promotional video of some kind for Omega watches, professional golfer Greg Norman (aka The Great White Shark) was filmed cage diving with white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) off Australia’s Neptune islands. Norman is sponsored by the watch company as an “Omega Ambassador.”
Another “Shark Week” promo from DiscoveryNetworks focuses on the very first shark cage and how Rodney Fox pioneered the act of cage diving. Fox who survived a white shark attack in 1963 came up with the idea of the shark cage when he decided that he wanted to get back in the water after recovering from the attack. His cage design helped to revolutionize white shark photography and videography.
From YouTube user davidwlitchfield comes a video featuring a white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) getting briefly stuck in the lower opening of a surface cage. After bumping into the boat, the shark quickly turns and gets his nose in between the bars of the cage. The diver in the cage is able to push the shark back using his camera allowing the shark to freely swim away.
The video description doesn’t indicate where this encounter took place, but given the time of year (assuming the video was shot recently) and the visibility, my guess would be South Australia.
DiscoveryNetworks YouTube channel offers up a preview clip of the upcoming show “Jaws Comes Home” which features footage shot around the carcass of whale which several blue sharks (Prionace glauca), as well as an an 18′ female white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), have come to feed on.
Researcher Greg Skomal and cameraman Nick Caloyianis take the opportunity to film/photograph the encounter from a cage, which is being supported by buoys. After taking an interest in the orange buoys supporting the cage (which the narrator dramatically describes as “attacking”), the white shark becomes trapped between the surface and the top of the cage.
While situations involving wild animals will always have a level of unpredictability, hopefully the engineers behind this particular cage design/setup will take this event into consideration with future designs.