Animals Video

By Katy Gill

Stunning bird’s eye view footage shows a diver patting a huge a tiger shark on the nose while it circles him.

Captured by underwater videographer Hamdan Chowdhury, a massive tiger shark can be seen studiously circling Pierrick Seybald off the French Polynesia island of Moorea in the South Pacific.

Letting the experienced diver stroke its sizeable flank, the shark turns and faces Pierrick face on allowing him to plant his hand on its nose.

By placing the predatory animal in a state called tonic immobility, Pierrick was able redirect the shark to avoid any potential incidents on October 21.

Hamdan, 28, said: “Watching this interaction was magical. 

“She was easily one of the biggest tigers I have ever had the pleasure of sharing the ocean with and a shark that big always commands respect. 

“Most people would have been more aggressive in their redirect, and understandably so. 

“But Pierrick’s experience and understanding of the situation allowed for such a beautiful interaction. 

“People like Pierrick are out in the water day in and day out proving that we have so much to learn and appreciate about the ocean.”

Tonic immobility – which places the shark into a trance like state – is often used by researchers so they can more easily take biological samples.

Hamdan said: “When the shark first changes her swim pattern and went towards Pierrick I admit I was a little sketched out. 

“Sharks usually make calculated moves and any sudden directional deviation signals some sort of change in interest. 

“You can spend hundreds of hours in the water with sharks yet that doesn’t change the fact that you always have to be aware of your surroundings.  

“Bearing that in mind, any temporary moments of fear are subsided when I knew Pierrick is maintaining eye contact with the shark. 

“This is a big thing for sharks, and from his experience he knew this would help establish his social hierarchy next to this giant tiger shark. 

“That moment reinforces to both of them that neither is a threat to the other.”