Shark Researcher Sits On Dead Floating Whale While Great White Sharks Feed On The Carcass

"This is about the dumbest thing I've ever done."

Was this a good idea? 

Only if you are a shark researcher looking to get the perfect photograph of a great white shark, up close and personal. 

So for this guy, getting on top of a floating Bryde whale carcass was the perfect spot to take his camera. And when the great whites showed up for a feeding frenzy, the photographer didn't panic — he just snapped shots. 

Duunnn dunnn... duuuunnnn duun... duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn dunnnn!

According to the 2008 Discovery TV YouTube video, the whale died mysteriously and was being towed by South African police to Seal Island. 

"For the shark scientist, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity," says the video's narrator. "He will cautiously board the floating whale carcass to get a closer view of sharks feeding."

Watch what happens:

Though movies like "Jaws" might have us believe these massive predators are ruthless man-eaters, that isn't necessarily true. 73 million various species of sharks are killed by humans annually, mostly due to fishing. And according to a shocking infographic by Upworthy, 11,417 sharks are killed by humans EVERY HOUR, while sharks only kill 12 people per year. 

Research also shows that great whites are naturally curious, and don't bite to kill but to "sample" potential prey. "It's not a terribly comforting distinction, but it does indicate that humans are not actually on the great white's menu," it says on National Geographic's website.  

Still, only experts should ever get close to wild animals for research purposes, because you wouldn't want to find yourself in a situation having to deal with this:

"This is about the dumbest thing I've ever done," says the shark researcher on the whale carcass. "Anything for a good picture."  

Though the above video was posted in 2008, other great whites have been making headlines more recently. For example, East Coasters have been tracking the movements of Mary Lee, a  3,500 pound pregnant great white shark, who is currently moving up the coast towards New York City. 

To learn about and protect great white sharks, visit here. 

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