Terrifying video shows great white shark leap out of water towards researcher

A heart-stopping video shared on Facebook by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy shows a researcher's uncomfortably close encounter with a great white shark.

In the clip, Dr. Greg Skomal, a marine fisheries biologist at the Martha's Vineyard Research Station, can be seen standing on the bow of a ship and searching for sharks off the coast of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. 

Suddenly, a great white shark breaches the surface of the calm water with mouth agape and lunges up towards Dr. Skomal, who then quickly retreats from his perch at the front of the vessel. 

"Holy crap! It jumped right out of the water," the boat's driver can be heard yelling in the background of the video. 

"Did you see that? Did you see that?" Dr. Skomal replies. "It came right out and opened his mouth right at my feet."

8 PHOTOS
Atlantic White Shark Conservancy
See Gallery
Atlantic White Shark Conservancy
While out on research trips, we've seen white sharks breach and we've received multiple reports of breaching white sharks this year from fishermen and boaters. While encounters like this one are rare, this video shows that they’re certainly possible. White sharks are wild and unpredictable animals. This is a good reminder of the importance of not becoming complacent and always staying vigilant when in or on the water. #capecod #greatwhite #shark #sharks #supportresearch #awsc #wellfleet #ocean #science #research
Shark tagged! @massmarinefisheries’ Dr. Greg Skomal, working with AWSC, just tagged the 5th white shark of the season, a ~12’ shark 1/4 mile off Nauset Beach (south side). Head over to our Facebook page for the video. #awsc #greatwhite #shark #nauset #nausetbeach #capecod #supportresearch #science
Dr. Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, working with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, tagged two white sharks off Nauset Beach today! Have you downloaded our FREE Sharktivity app?! Go do it now and get notifications for shark sightings, alerts and LIVE streaming (more to come this season) of research in action. #capecod #sharks #supportresearch #awsc #nauset #nausetbeach
Our September White Sharks & Whales expeditions with @whales_org are filling up! 🐳 Only 8 spots remain on the Sept. 8th trip - click the link in our bio for info. #supportresearch #whalewatch #greatwhitesharks
🦈Welcome back, Jack!🦈 Tagged white shark Jack pinged in on a few receivers June 15th - the DAY AFTER we were out on the water looking for sharks. Sad to not see him, but glad to know he's around. Check out where Jack pinged in on Sharktivity - make sure your time frame is set to include June 15th! @massmarinefisheries @evergladesboats @natgeowild #sharktracking #sharkresearch #conservation #awarenessinspiresconservation #sharkweekeveryweek
How can you tell if a white shark is pregnant? It's not as easy as it may look... In yesterday's shark fact, we told you that white sharks have two uteri that line the length of their bodies, and each uterus will have between 3-6 pups that will each be 5ft long at birth. When a white shark is close to giving birth, their bellies appear large and "double-barreled" from the pectoral girdle to the anal fins, due to the growing white shark pups running the length of the female's body. But, not all big females are pregnant and vice versa! White shark gestation is thought to be 12-18 months long. Therefore, white sharks can be pregnant for most of the year before they begin to show any visible signs. Equally, when white sharks gorge on whale (like Julia did last year offshore Cape Cod), their bellies also distend - but they are not pregnant. It can be difficult to tell a full shark from a pregnant shark just from sight. The only ways to confirm white shark pregnancy is by detecting pregnancy hormones indicators in their blood stream or identifying embryos or eggs via an ultrasound - both are very difficult processes to do with plump white sharks! 🦈 This white shark pictured is from Guadalupe and was featured in 2015's Shark Week. Dr. Chris Lowe at the CSULB Shark Lab confirms that this 20ft female is likely pregnant. If you enjoyed this shark fact, please consider donating to our white shark research fundraising drive! Every day from now to June 15th, all donors that contribute at least $20 will get a $20 give card to our online shop. All donations directly fund this season's costs - click the link in our bio to support white shark research! Thank you for your support! 🙏 📷: @ABC4explore #awarenessinspiresconservation #greatwhitesharks #pregnantsharks #sharkresearch #conservation
Awesome video of a peaceful white shark encounter off Cape Schanck, Australia - just south of Melbourne. Not sure if the water was already murky or... 🤔 #YourGonnaNeedANewWetsuit #greatwhiteshark #accidentalsharkdiving #whitesharkencounter #sharks
Another great result from the #LowCountry shark tagging team! You can track all of our tagged sharks on our free app, @sharktivity - sponsored by @evergladesboats and @natgeowild! #Repost @outcast_sport_fishing ・・・ 7ft great white shark tagged and released yesterday. This little guy showed up about noon and couldn’t get the bait in his mouth, but he kept returning. Smallest one we’ve tagged, which is pretty interesting considering the behemoth we landed last time. Hook was removed and sent him on his way. #greatwhitebuffalo #hiltonheadfishing #hiltonhead #whiteshark #greatwhiteshark #sharkfishing #lbsf #bullbuster #seiglerreels #tagandrelease #catchandrelease #inshore #biggame #aftco #huk #charlestonfishing #bluffton #savannahgeorgia #georgiaoutdoors #scdnr #ncfishing #ohiofishing #myrtlebeachfishing #lakelanier #scb #hiltonheadharbor #seapines #edistobeach
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The Conservancy provided some background on the now-viral clip, writing that while encounters like this one are rare, they're possible.

"While out on research trips, we've seen white sharks breach and we've received multiple reports of breaching white sharks this year from fishermen and boaters," it wrote along with the video, which has amassed over 363,000 views.

"While encounters like this one are rare, this video shows that they’re certainly possible. White sharks are wild and unpredictable animals. This is a good reminder of the importance of not becoming complacent and always staying vigilant when in or on the water." 

Read Full Story