Despite their pop culture fame, the private lives of great white sharks still largely remain a mystery. No one has ever seen them mate, give birth, or until just recently, take a nap. But thanks to the crew of Discovery’s Jaws of the Deep, we now have what may be the first-ever footage of a snoozing great white.
The video was caught by a robotic submersible tracking a female shark off the coast of Mexico’s Guadalupe Island. About a minute and a half in, you can see the animal’s jaw drop open while it enters what appears to be a catatonic state.
Great whites are one of about two dozen species known as “obligate ram ventilators” that need to be constantly moving to stay alive. As they swim forward, water flows through their mouth and gills, providing oxygen to the blood stream. If they were to ever curl up on the ocean floor for a quick rest they would asphyxiate and die.
This clip was part of Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week, which began Sunday, June 26 and runs until the July 3. In addition to their television programming, Discovery also will be offering thrilling 360-degree content through their VR app.
All images courtesy of Discovery via YouTube.
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