Even the kings of the seas need to take a nap. For all our fascination with the great white sharks, nobody has ever actually seen one mid-sleep in the wild. However, a team of scientists from Pelagios Kakunjá and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have now managed to film one that they believe was in a sleep-like state.
The researchers spotted the shark along the shallow waters surrounding Guadalupe Island, near Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. The shark was seen swimming face first into a 3 km/h (1.8 mph) current near the bottom of the shallow seabed, in order to help oxygen-rich water flood over its gills with minimal effort. It also has its mouth gaped open and appears to be in a still, almost catatonic, daze. Very little is known about the night-time habits of great whites, but the scientists believe this could be a sleep-like state.
Check out the video by Discovery of the ocean napping, which they posted in celebration of this week's Shark Week.