Great whites are a lot less aggressive than their reputation leads us to believe. Nevertheless, even if they’re just being curious, getting trapped in a tiny cage with a shark that can grow to 6 meters (20 feet) long isn’t going to be fun, as this diver found out.
The video was filmed by YouTubers Gabe and Garrett on a great white shark diving trip near Guadalupe Island, off the west coast of Mexico.
After being baited with tuna chunks, a shark somehow managed to slip through the bars of the diving cage, trapping a diver inside along with it. Around 15 seconds of thrashing and panicking ensues, but the shark eventually makes it out of the top of cage, appearing to have sustained some injuries. The diver emerged unharmed.
“There was a single diver inside the cage. He ended up outside the bottom of the cage, looking down on two great white sharks,” the video description explains. “The diver is a very experienced dive instructor, remained calm, and when the shark thrashed back outside the cage, the diver calmly swam back up and climbed out completely uninjured.”
Gabe and Garrett were also keen to explain the shark wasn't being violent: "What might appear to be an aggressive great white shark trying to attack the cage, this is not the case. These awesome sharks are biting at large chunks of tuna tied to a rope."
Although cage diving isn't generally considered as invasive or cruel as many other wildlife attractions as the point is to view the animals in their natural habitat, not to interact, it still requires respect and responsibility if both parties want to stay happy and safe. Baiting, however, is controversial: If you decide to wave a piece of meat in front a powerful predator, you can probably expect a reaction.
Luckily, despite its apparent injuries, the great white was spotted later chasing some tuna bait and looking fine. All’s well that ends well.