By Josh Saunders
This curious shark clearly FIN-KS this diver is JAWS-SOME in the heart stopping footage showing the once in a lifetime moment it plants a sloppy kiss on his face.
Despite being face-to-face with the blue shark, diver Stefano Ulivi, xx, surprisingly says he ‘wasn’t scared’ during the close-encounter and found the rare event ‘exhilarating’.
He was guiding a group of divers through the underwater world surrounding Azores, Pico Island when the face-off happened last year.
Stefano from Florence, Italy, was filming when a curious blue shark swam close-up to him, eventually planting a ‘kiss’ on his face before swimming away.
Sharks often use their sense of touch to work out whether the creature is prey or to discover what the creature is.
Stefano, a videographer, said: “I was full of emotion, things like this only happen once in a lifetime.
“Honestly, I was not scared, I had tons of adrenalin pulsing through my veins and that was the only thing I needed.
“It was incredible of course, usually sharks are super curious, they arrive very close but at last moment they always change direction.
“That shark was already with us for two hours, so I thought it was used to seeing strange things in the water like us with our bubbles, he felt comfortable and brave enough to check me out.
“Sharks don’t have hands, but they do have an incredible sense of smell, called olfaction, and use their nose for touching and trying to understand what we are.
“Practically the shark was curious to know if I was food or not and if not what I was.
“Four years ago, dive guide Dave Marcel in Florida, USA, sustained wounds after being bitten by a nurse shark he was attempting to ‘smooch’.
During the occurrence with the 300lb shark he accidentally spun the sea creature onto its back – leaving the shark blind and unable to see his ‘prey’ was, in fact, a friend.
Stefano believes sharks are greatly misunderstood and reiterates the rarity of dangerous events occurring.
He added: “During my job I have the opportunity to know a lot of different people, divers and nature lovers, 50% of them have the idea that sharks are dangerous animals.
“But generally, if you follow the ‘rules’ of our briefing nothing happens, we spend almost one hour briefing everyone before the dive, to explain the behaviour of the animals and to how share the ocean with them.
“I don’t remember how many times I have been in the water with sharks and everything goes normal.
“Only once did I see something dangerous, which happened because a client tried to grab the dorsal fin of shark pretending to swim with him like a mermaid.
“It’s was a very stupid thing to do when you do not have any experience.”