It’s not every day that you can get up close and personal with a great white. One documentary filmmaker got lucky, and recently found himself in a close encounter of the shark kind near the Neptune Islands in Spencer Gulf, South Australia.
While shooting footage for his new show set to air as part of Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week bonanza, Dave Riggs and his camera were up for a toothy inspection by a female great white. As his camera was mere inches away from the inquisitive shark, Riggs was able to capture the shark's blood-smeared maw from a fresh kill.
Image Credit: Dave Riggs.
Describing the shark as “one of the most remarkable animals” he’d ever seen, Riggs explained in a promotional clip (shown below) for this year’s Shark Week that the creature “was around 4.5 meters [14.7 feet] in length and extremely inquisitive of what we were and what we were doing. Great whites don’t have hands, so she was researching the area in the only way she knows how – and that’s with her mouth.”
Riggs is not terrified of the shark as most would be. And it's clear that he actually has a renewed sense of respect and awe for the apex predator. Riggs remarks that the photo of the shark's crimson grin was "...quite dramatic, but it really highlights how awesome these apex predators are."
Discovery Channel's Shark Week began in 1988 as a week-long programming block dedicated to the fearsome predator. The series has since become one of Discovery Channel's most-watched, raising awareness, discussions and criticisms about sharks.
According to the National Geographic, great white sharks can detect one drop of blood in 25 gallons (100 liters) of water and they can sense traces of blood in water up to 3 miles (5 kilometers) away. Though the average length of a great white shark is about 15 feet (4.6 meters), sharks as large as 20 feet (6 meters) long have been found.
The full story will feature in this year’s Shark Week on Discovery Channel, which starts on July 5.