Animals Video

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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.”