Close Call or Fair Warning?


I came across this Facebook video post by CoastfishTV. Their title was accurate. 'Scary SHARK Encounter'. I say accurate because it sure as hell is scary, but also void of the word 'attack'. It was used in titles to the same video posted by other sources. 'White Shark Attacks Diver - Close Call'. 'Great white shark headbutts diver in scary shark attack encounter' And, 'Diver lucky to escape great white shark attack'.

This revealing clip does provide a glimpse of instinctual behaviors for one of the planet's most efficient predators. It also reminds me of dovetailing topics that have held my focus since I was very young. The evolving dynamic between man and beast and the ways in which different cultures around the world value natural resources. When it comes to wildlife, sharks in this case, I believe public perceptions and resulting valuations are driven in large part by how these animals are portrayed in the media (including the social realm) and by Hollywood where they are statistically typecast as the villain, far more often than not. On the other hand, it is statistically rare for human interactions with these large, carnivorous, wild predators in their natural habitat to result in serious injury or death. This footage provides a case for my point.

My observations, as I shared them on Coastfish TV's Facebook page...

If it wanted him, the guy would be white shark poop with a statistic after his name. That was a territorial display and posture - pec fins straight down. Not even a taste test or we'd be having a different conversation. Although, the white, which appeared to be a male, did likely get a good whiff of neoprene during that brief contact. There's no doubt this animal knew the divers were there for some time before that sequence took place. Circling in the murk before showing itself and its dominance. Possibly not the only one in the immediate vicinity, either. My guess is the divers didn't stick around much longer to see what elevated level of aggression might have followed. Thanks for sharing. It's rare footage of an awesome and discriminatory marine predator interacting with humans.

They are evolution, pretty much perfected to play a crucial role in the overall wellbeing of the world's ocean and man's existence. Not an overstatement when we consider just how much of the earth's population depends on protein from seafood to literally survive. People that don't get it, haven't taken the time to. One of the primary and primal causes of fear is ... the unknown. The more we know, the less we fear, and the more we sometimes might even find ways to respect what we once did not understand.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, whatever they may be. Just click on the 'Comment' link below.

Thanks for reading. -sp-