We all live under the assumption that sharks are the ocean’s most fearsome predators, but did you know that a shark chomping down on a GoPro camera can look, dare we say, kind of cute?
Take for example this new clip, posted by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, showing a 12-foot Atlantic White Shark getting up close and personal with a camera off Monomoy Island.
In the brief clip, scientist Greg Skomal dips his camera just under the surface while on a research trip off the coast of the New England state. Just seconds in viewers get a clear glimpse of the rather large fish as it swims by and slowly disappears. Then, out of nowhere, the fish is back — and heading straight for the camera.
But when he bites down the shark sort of lingers for a moment, looking like his bite is more out of curiosity than hunger.
After getting a great look at his two rows of teeth and fleshy mouth the shark lets go of the camera and calmly swims away.
Shark sightings have been on the rise off the coast of Massachusetts this summer. In June, Skomal told ABC News that the sharp shark population increase was partially due to the increase in the gray seal population.
“We've been studying sharks off the coast of Massachusetts for 30 years and our work with white sharks off Cape Cod is relatively recent,” Skomal said. “The numbers we're seeing on a relative scale are increasing ... So there is a general increasing trend as more and more sharks recruit to the area.”
But, even with this population boom it’s important to remember that a shark attacking a human is exceedingly rare. As National Geographic explained, the United States averages just 19 shark attacks each year and only one shark attack fatality every two years. To put that number in further perspective, National Geographic also noteed that you have a 1 in 63 chance of dying from the flu and a mere 1 in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark during your lifetime.