Is this guy our last hope against the US shark scourge?
Sharks may inspire most people to keep a wide berth. However, one diver displayed nerves of steel while holding a monstrous shark for a full minute after hypnotizing it, as seen in nerve-wracking video.
In one of the clips, shared to Instagram by Florida-based underwater photographer Tanner Mansell, his friend and fellow diver, named Chang, can be seen cradling a 7-foot Caribbean reef shark — which can grow to 10-feet long — in Nassau, Bahamas, the Mirror reported.
The shark charmer was reportedly able to handle the predator that way for a full minute as he descended peacefully into the gloom.
“Chang and the shark were like this for about a minute where the shark and him twirled around, like a dance,” described awestruck Mansell, 29, of the serene scene, per the Mirror. “It was beautiful to see a predator that is perceived to be so dangerous and negative to look so at peace and calm in the arms of a man.”
This feat may seem foolhardy, especially as reef sharks have been known to attack people, according to the Mirror. However, Chang had allegedly rendered the beast defenseless by turning it upside down.
Specifically, he induced a state of “catatonic immobility,” a trancelike phenomenon that “causes a temporary state of inactivity in the shark,” according to Mansell, who regularly uploads Instagram videos of himself giving tiger sharks nose rubs.
“When the shark is gently turned on their back, it’s thought to disorientate them, causing them to enter the state,” conservation charity Shark Trust explained on their site. “The shark’s muscles relax and their breathing becomes deep and rhythmic.
“When released the shark snaps out of this state,” added the researchers, who utilize the method to reduce the likelihood of injury while handling these toothy beasts.
Of course, catatonic immobility isn’t only employed by well-meaning scientists. Killer whales — which regularly feast on shark livers — have been observed on several occasions upending great white sharks, thereby rendering them immobile and causing them to drown.
There’s no word on whether Chang could employ his shark-charming move to help combat the shark blitz seemingly sweeping US waters.
This summer, the US has seen a major spike in sharks biting people, including six incidents in Long Island in July alone.
In the latest attack two weeks ago, Max Haynes, 16, was bitten on the foot while surfing near Kismet Beach on Fire Island.