By Jamie Smith
An underwater photographer has snapped a shark perfectly enveloped in a bait ball ‘cloak’.
Debbie Wallace was diving with sand tiger sharks at the wreck of the Caribsea, off North Carolina, when she captured the incredible moment the fish appeared formed a shield around one of the majestic predators.
Bait balls are a phenomenon which occur when small schooling fish swarm in a tightly-packed spherical formation when they are threatened by predators.
Debbie, from Winsconsin, USA, said “On our first day diving, we headed out to the wreck of the Caribsea and upon our descent the visibility appeared to be poor, since the water looked very dark.
“However, upon descending further to the wreck, what we thought to be poor visibility was, in fact, a massive bait ball – with numerous sand tiger sharks entering and exiting it.
“I continued to watch the bait ball undulate, changing shapes with each shark entry and exit.
“I saw this female as she was exiting and followed her for a while.
“She appeared completely disinterested in my presence- then she began to glide by over my head.
“Towards the end of the dive, I caught another shark lazily swimming by me in close proximity. She gave me a lovely closeup.”