A terrified diver cowered in her shark cage as a great white shark repeatedly slammed into its bars.
In a series of incredible images captured by Mark Graham, founder of the White Shark Ocean Project, the ocean predator tried to smash its way into the secure metal enclosure.
Mark frequently takes tourists and shark lovers out to South Africa’s Klein Brak Mossel Bay to spend time with the perfectly-evolved killing machines while still being safely protected within a metal cage.
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“The great white sharks are super inquisitive,” he said. “They quite often come to check out the cage and see what all the commotion is."
“They bump and mouth the cage inquisitively and relatively gently which can look scary," Mark went on, "but it's never aggressive behaviour.
“If they really wanted to get into the cage they would try a lot harder.
“We do get people who are scared in the beginning but they quickly realise the sharks aren’t interested.”
In his latest shoot, Mark was diving with a customer when a great white shark came up to the bars to give the cage a few exploratory nibbles.
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The shark circled the cage and mouthed the cage bars beside the woman, with its dagger-like teeth only inches from her face, before deciding the cage was wasn’t interesting or tasty enough to bother with and swam off to find something more enticing.
He said the sharks aren’t actually all that interested in eating cage-divers.
“If they really wanted to get into the cage they would try harder," he said.
“We do get people who are scared in the beginning but they quickly realise the sharks aren’t interested in them.”
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The great white, the most most feared creature in the oceans, could one day soon be found in the seas around the UK as climate change continues to increase sea temperatures.
Chris Fischer, founder of marine research organisation Ocearch said: “We believe they should be moving up past Brest [in northern France] and Cornwall.”
Data from the University of Plymouth suggests great whites have already arrived in British waters, with around a hundred 100 credible sightings recorded in the last decade.
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