The Late Movies: 11 Close Encounters with Sharks


Last night marked the start of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. The annual summer event is celebrating its 25th anniversary and is broadcast in more than 72 countries. To celebrate everyone's favorite shark extravaganza, we've rounded up 11 videos of close encounters with sharks. Enjoy!

Warning: These videos often include yells of profanity. If you're in an office or around children, you may want to mute your speakers first.

1. The One That Got Away

When this group headed out for an overcast day of fishing at Cherry Grove in Myrtle Beach, SC, they weren't expecting to reel in a bull shark.

2. Best Shark Attack Video

This "media demo edit" is a condensed version of this longer video, which the uploader dubbed "best shark attack video." The group was tarpon fishing on a boat under Long Key Bridge, near Duck Key, FL. A hammerhead shark attacked a tarpon, which the fishing group tried to protect by circling around the fish, creating noise and bubbles to confuse the shark and conceal the tarpon. The shark was victorious, though, and when one of the fishers picked up part of the tarpon carcass to show on the video, the shark emerged to snatch up the remains of its meal. (You can read even more details on the YouTube page for either edit of the video.)

3. Mako Shark Surprises Diver and Blue Marlin

Diver and shark expert Jim Abernethy was actually underwater off Cat Island in the Bahamas to film a blue marlin for a Guy Harvey expedition when a mako shark took him by surprise.

4. Scientists Free a Whale Shark from a Fishing Net

Whale sharks, which are slow-moving filter-feeding sharks, often gather around lift net fishing platforms to eat the small silverside baitfish being caught. Unfortunately, the sharks sometimes swim into the nets and become entangled, as is the case with this whale shark in Indonesia's Cendrawasih Bay, which was freed by scientists from Conservation International.

5. Whale Shark Sucks Fish from Fishing Net

This is what the whale shark in video #4 had been trying to do -- suck little fish straight from the fishermen's lift net. This video was also filmed by Conservation International in Indonesia's Cendrawasih Bay.

6. Shark Steals Camera

As you're probably beginning to notice, sharks are intelligent and curious animals. In this clip filmed at Tiger Beach in the Bahamas, a shark steals a camera from photographer Jim Abernethy (the same Jim from video #3). Luckily, Jim was able to get his camera back eventually!

7. Tiger Shark Near Miss

This video is presumably from one of those "swim with the sharks" excursions. When a tiger shark begins to nose his way through a diver's legs, the diver doesn't get out of the way quickly enough for the shark, who nearly bites the diver's leg.

8. Shark Stalks Boat

These guys were fishing from their boat off the coast of North Carolina when a large shark began following them, circling their boat for about 20 minutes. (As the guys muse at one point, "Maybe it knows something we don't.") In the videos, they debate whether it's a great white shark or a bull shark, but either way, it's a pretty impressive creature filmed in high definition.

9. Close Call with Great White Shark

Two divers were stranded off the coast of Western Australia when a great white shark (referred to as a white pointer in the video) came between them and their boat. Luckily, they were able to scare it away with no injury to themselves. The Australian newscaster narrating the clip enhances the drama.

10. Sharks Feed on Whale

Approximately 100 sharks--mostly blacktip reef sharks, tiger sharks and a few great white sharks--were feeding on a beached whale at Warroora Station in Australia; surfer Rachel Campbell caught the action on film.

11. 5-Year-Old Girl Swims with Sharks

We saved the most controversial for last (of course). This video is of an excursion with Power Boat Adventures off of Nassau in the Bahamas; the staff feed the group of reef sharks, lemon sharks, and nurse sharks to ensure they're not hungry, and then the tourists swim amongst the sharks. But this video stirred up an internet brouhaha over parenting, safety, and sharks, as it features a 5-year-old named Anaia with the sharks. Comments on the video have since been disabled due to the nasty comments Anaia's parents were receiving.