Incredible footage captures a great white shark that may be the “world’s most battered” shark. After years of battles, its skin is covered in scars and bite marks.
As New York Post reported, the huge predator was discovered near the Neptune Islands in South Australia, home to an estimated 1,000 great white sharks.
While those who captured the video initially speculated that the enormous predator was injured by boat propellers or tuna nets, that theory has since been disproved.
Despite his injuries, the 11ft male was quite “friendly” and “calm,” according to underwater cinematographer Dean Spraakman, who captured the stunning footage on an expedition in January.
Dean told The Sun, “No one has ever seen a shark in a condition like this before.
“We see sometimes down there the white sharks tracking stingrays because they hunt and eat them, and we thought they chase them into shallow reef areas where it’s quite sharp, and it might get stuck and cause that sort of damage.
“You can only speculate what happened there, and to be honest, no one knows or ever really know what causes that sort of damage to a shark, but the poor guy had a bit of a hard time, I think.
“I noticed he had scars on him, but I didn’t realize to what length until I reviewed the footage later.
“He was very calm and coming close and quite curious, which was great.
“He was really friendly, just very calm, and wasn’t aggravated from everything he’s been through.
“He came very close, within an arm’s reach from me—sometimes when you get a good shark like that, they just want to come and look you in the eye, just have a really good look at who you are.”
Prof Yannis Papastamatiou, a National Geographic explorer, believes that some of the marks could have been caused during a fight with another shark.
“Females are often heavily scarred from mating behavior, but males can get bitten as well during dominance interactions between sharks, e.g., a larger shark may want a smaller shark and dominate the smaller individual with a non-fatal warning bite.
“Some of the scarrings around the face may also be caused by their prey such as seals.”
The Neptune Islands are well-known for being a great white shark tourist destination.