Oct. 18, 2011 at 11:42 AM ET
I dont think I could get anywhere near a shark without worrying about getting chomped, but an Italian dive instructor was recently photographed by Matthew Meier, from San Diego, holding a Caribbean reef shark in the palm of her hand. Zenato was also shot stroking and holding the large ocean predator in tropical Carribbean waters.
Cristina induces the catatonic state in the shark using a little-known technique of rubbing the ampullae of Lorenzini -- the name given to hundreds of jelly-filled pores around the animal's nose and mouth.
The pores act as electroreceptors detecting prey moving in the electromagnetic field around the shark; rubbing them turns "Jaws" into a sleeping baby.
According to Caters News, Cristina has used her amazing talent to put sharks in the sleepy state to educate other divers, remove parasites and even remove fishing hooks from the sharks mouths.
The photographer, who specializes in underwater pictures, said he hoped to raise awareness for the plight of sharks.