By Mark Morris
A diver used a hypnosis technique to pet a pregnant tiger shark on the nose like a dog.
While swimming of the coast of Jupiter, Florida, on May 19 Todd Thomas filmed the shark feeder from Emerald Charters have an amazing interaction with the 14-foot-long predator.
Despite the shark – named Jenny – heading straight for Josh Eccles, the 35-year-old shows no fear before holding out his hand straight in front of him.
Using a technique called tonic immobility, Josh manages to hold the shark’s nose, mere centimetres above its mouth, and pet it gently on the snout, just like you would a dog.
Todd said: “Josh has been hand feeding sharks for 10 years and has done so all over the world.
“He has been putting this particular shark named Jenny in tonic immobility for about three years.
“Tonic immobility is a natural state of paralysis often called animal hypnosis.
“For sharks, this happens when you gently rub their ampullae lorinzini.
“This is a very sensitive area of electroreceptors above the shark’s snout.
“This is a sensory reception that sharks use to hunt, that’s why they come over to you to check you out so that this complex network can pick up a signal and identify the object in question.
“It does so by detecting minute electrical potentials emitted from the muscle contractions for prey.
“This is why a shark is very wary of this area, any injury to the ampullae could mean certain death, which is why it is the best place to push a shark away from you.”