Underwater filmmaker and shark enthusiast Joe Romeiro has come closer to hammerhead sharks than probably most people would feel comfortable.
In an astounding series of photos, Romeiro is seen fearlessly petting the unusually shaped apex predators, feeding them and holding their noses as though they were household pets.
The U.S. filmmaker saw his first shark at a very young age. Ever since then, he’s been hooked on learning more about the animals, devoting his time to better educating people about sharks and protecting the marine animals in the wild.
"Hopefully when people see photos of divers interacting with sharks, they'll see that sharks are not the vicious man-eaters they are commonly portrayed as," said Romeiro, speaking to the Daily Mail.
"Great Hammerheads are a rare and endangered species," adds photographer Bill Fisher. "There are very few places in the world where a person can get in such close proximity to them. Sharks are powerful predators, yet they allow us into their world to interact with them without harm. They are one of nature's most unique creations and their agility up-close is amazing to witness."
Hammerhead sharks are so named for their hammer-shaped heads that result in their eyes being positioned far apart from one another. This allows the animal 360o vertical vision, meaning they can see above and below themselves at all times.
The biggest threat to sharks are from overfishing to the point of a very possible extinction. Their fins are considered a delicacy in Asia, where fishermen catch the fish, cut off their fins and release them alive and severely injured back into the ocean.
World Oceans Day is June 8 and these spectacular photos, taken by photographer Bill Fisher, work to dispel the myth that sharks are ferocious man-eaters and to instead show that sharks are worth protecting.