A video of a cage diver apparently leaving the safety of the cage to high-five the fin of an unusually large white shark surfaced on the Internet this week.
The diver in the footage, Mauricio Hoyos Padilla, told 9 News Australia that he posted the video to Facebook with a note that he plans to return to the same waters very soon. Shortly thereafter, the video took off, showing up all over Facebook and Reddit.
The shark’s name is “Deep Blue” and according to the Discovery Channel documentary clip, she’s “almost as large as a 22-foot boat” and possibly 50 years old. The documentary also says Deep Blue was likely pregnant, which would explain her unusual girth. And would probably make her quite hungry, making it seem all the more badass that this diver exited his cage to give her a high-five (high-fin?)
But sharks, especially great whites, get a bad reputation for being maneaters. They’re not really. White sharks are not particularly aggressive toward people. When they do bite, it’s often only once, and researchers think it’s because they mistake the silhouette of a human against the sunlit surface to be a seal. Seals are way better food than people, because they’re all blubbery and full of calories. People by comparison are full of bones and pretty gamey. Once the shark gets a taste of that, they’re all like, “gross, no thanks.”
In reality, humans are way more dangerous to sharks. Shark fishing and finning (the practice of catching sharks, slicing off their fins, and returning them to the water dead or dying all in the name of shark fin soup) are largely unregulated. Shark products can fetch a pretty penny so there is a lot of incentive for people to continue to catch and fin sharks.
Screengrab via fundas bilmade/YouTube