shark

Sharp focus: Hungry shark tries to chomp photographer's camera

Oct. 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM ET

Sam Cahir / Barcroft Media via Landov /
My, what sharp teeth you have! This shortfin mako shark makes her move on photographer Sam Cahir's camera off the Neptune Islands in South Australia.

It can take a lot to faze some people — but it seems that almost nothing rattles Australian photographer Sam Cahir.

As evidence, consider the photographs Cahir took while being circled for about two hours by a hungry shortfin mako shark off the Neptune Islands in South Australia. Cahir was participating in a great white shark tagging trip with the Fox Shark Research Foundation when the female mako shark decided to get up close and personal.

Here is Cahir’s account of what happened in his own words, as told to London-based Barcroft Media:

"The mako made some menacing passes. On a number of occasions she almost swallowed the camera whole, allowing me to shoot straight down her maw.

Sam Cahir / Barcroft Media via Landov /
Dun-dun, dun-dun: Sam Cahir didn't panic during his real-life "Jaws" encounter in the Indian Ocean. The female shortfin mako shark circled him for about two hours.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I feel humbled to have witnessed such a display of nature's quirkiness. ...

"When I saw the shark I couldn't get in the water fast enough to get some pictures. I couldn't believe what I was seeing up close. This mako was audacious, bordering manic.

"At one point I had a great white and a mako circling for the tuna bait. The mako literally browbeat away a great white, and not just any great white shark, but a very large, dominant male — maybe six times her mass and twice her size. It was amazing.

Sam Cahir / Barcroft Media via Landov /
Shortfin mako sharks have been known to attack humans. This one eventually swam away from photographer Sam Cahir after eating tuna bait thrown into the water.

"Once the great white left, the mako decided I was the next threat to her free meal. She circled me for around two hours making intimidatingly close passes."

TODAY.com writer Laura T. Coffey once almost screamed inside a Petco store when she got too close to the spider cage. She realizes that spiders are not sharks, but she’s just making a point. Here’s where to find Laura on Facebook and Twitter.

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