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."

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."