Great white shark video shows head-on approach to SUP users

An incredible video has been captured showing a great white shark in a “rare” display of curiosity that would have terrified a pair on stand-up paddleboards.

The encounter with the apex predator was captured off the coast of California by Scott Fairchild and shared on his Instagram account last week.

The video shows the great white swimming in the shallows away from the pair before turning around to face them and swimming directly at them.

Despite filming sharks almost daily, Fairchild said the encounter was “rare”.

“Sometimes the white sharks are confidently curious,” the drone videographer said.

“Usually self preservation always comes first. This is more rare, intentionally approaching head on, and if you notice, pausing when there is a perfect triangle of separation.

“Then choosing to put itself in the middle, between two people. As always though, its spatial awareness is on-point, as it perfectly splits the difference.”

Fairchild is on a bit of a mission to dispel the myth that sharks are the monsters that many portray them to be.

He uses his platform to show how the sharks react to often too-close-for-comfort encounters with humans.

A video he shared last month showed a stand-up paddleboarder watch as a great white swam directly at him.

“This gentleman sees the great white but quickly regroups and remains calm, focusing on not falling and catching the wave,” Fairchild wrote.

“And you know, not crashing right on top of the shark! Well done Sir.”

On September 22, he shared a collection of drone photographs showing great white sharks peacefully sharing the ocean with humans.

“These Great White Sharks are not some mindless monster to be vilified like they often are in the movies or on the news,” he wrote.

“These are highly skilled and intelligent animals who deserve our respect, our protection.”

Speaking to Oceanographic magazine this week, Fairchild said he grew up in the water where he developed an interest in sharks.

That led to plenty of “positive shark encounters” in Hawaii and the Virgin Islands, he said.

“I quickly learned they’re not the monsters the media likes to portray and grew to love swimming amongst them.”

He told the publication that what started as a hobby has afforded him the opportunity to “change people’s minds” about how they look at sharks.

“But unknowingly, I’ve come to realise that I’m changing minds,” he said.

“The channel seems to create a love for sharks that were once a source of fear for so many. I get countless messages saying that my videos have changed people’s minds.”

Originally published as Truth about great white shark’s head-on encounter with humans

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