Seagulls often lurk just above the water’s surface scavenging for fish. However, they probably aren’t expecting a giant sea creature to burst from the waves in hopes of getting a tasty snack. But that’s what happened when one seagull narrowly escaped the massive jaws of a Great White shark.
Now, the story itself is pretty David-Meets-Goliath. But what’s even better is that a series of photos capture the whole epic encounter. This all happened on Guadeloupe Island, Mexico – a hot spot for great whites to hangout. Further, many tourists make it a point to travel there in hopes of cage diving with the long-feared animals.
But the innocent seagull was just sitting on the water’s surface as two sharks began circling. It’s at this time that wildlife photographer identifies by The Sun as Nikki, began documenting what was to happen next.
As the sharks planned their attack, the bird remained unalarmed. However, out of nowhere, a 1,300 pound great white burst from directly underneath the seagull.
“Guadalupe Island has over four-hundred individually identified white sharks, and I’ve been lucky enough to photograph over two-hundred of them.When sharks are serious about getting a hang bait they often make a fast vertical approach from the depths,” says Be A Shark Adventure Travel founder and photographer Nikki.
Incredible photos show the seagull as it just barely flies out of the grasp of the creature’s sharp teeth, safely making it away.
Luck was definitely on that bird’s side! But it’s not entirely the shark’s fault. It was just acting out of instinct after all. Due to environmental regulations to protect seals, great whites are definitely hungrier – which could be why there have been 74 attacks and 8 deaths this year, officials reported.
Rebranding Great White Shark Attacks as Interactions
While many environmentalists also believe that shark attacks are misunderstood by the general population – no thanks to Hollywood – some scientists have suggested rebranding ‘attacks’ as ‘interactions.’
In fact, University of Sydney’s Christopher Pepin-Neff said that up until around the 1930s, shark encounters were called ‘shark accidents.’ The use of the term ‘attack’ only serves to incite fear he says.
Further, another professor explains why sharks aren’t ‘attacking,’ but rather just exploring.
“Sharks don’t have hands. So, if they want to explore something, they mouth it,” Nathan Hart, an associate professor at Macquarie University says. “Very rarely are humans consumed by sharks.”
Even so, an encounter with a great white shark – or any shark for that matter – can be extremely dangerous. The animals dwell in the water because that’s their natural space. So humans need to be cautious and read warnings about when sharks could be present. This can help save lives – and limbs – during those beach visits.
Further, sharks often mistake surfers for seals because of their vision, scientists found. So to them, someone who’s just trying to catch a wave could be a tempting looking treat for a great white shark. This is another scenario when paying attention to shark behaviors and patterns is extremely important.