Watch: Marine scientist captures amazing close-ups of shark breaches
These sharks certainly know how to cause a splash as they turn up for dinner.
Marine scientist Ryan Johnson’s videos show great white sharks bursting through the ocean’s surface to attack a seal decoy.
The research footage captures every single aspect of an attack from above and below, and show the sharks shooting through the water and leaping into the air with their jaws wide open.
Ryan, 39, took the videos during the sharks’ hunting season around Mossel Bay’s Seal Island in South Africa.
He said: “On a typical day, I can see between 2 and 4 attacks on my decoys. Over the season so far we have recorded upwards of 30 attacks.
“It is exciting. Sometimes you have to wait for two hours before seeing a breach attack.
“It is all this time waiting that builds up anticipation, and finally when the shark erupts from the water you have this immediate outpouring of excitement.
“We started filming sharks to answer the question: is it only a small proportion of the white sharks in the bay that are successfully hunting and killing seals?
“The hope was to get a couple of video frames, amongst the carnage, where the pigmentation pattern of the shark allows it to be identified.
“Little did we know that the footage obtained would look so incredible, and offer a whole new visual perspective of great white sharks hunting.”
Ryan and his fellow scientists took a long time perfecting their camera rigging to capture the clearest shots. Finding where to position the cameras also lead to a camera-casualty.
He said: “A shark did knock the camera setup once and I lost a GoPro, which is pretty disappointing when you are on a ‘scientists’ budget.
“Now have I put floats on the cameras, so that they will go up rather than down if they are knocked off by a curious shark.”
While he agrees the footage looks very dramatic, Ryan also urges people not to get the wrong idea about sharks.
He said: “What is important to remember for anyone watching this and getting a little freaked out is that these sharks only perform this hunting behaviour during a very short season, and only directly adjacent to a couple of seal colonies in South Africa, one of which is at Mossel Bay’s Seal Island.”