Just in time for the best 7 days of the year: Shark Week -- some truly incredible footage of a shark attack. A team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution were shooting a nature show for the Discovery Channel entitled Jaws Strikes Back. The plan was to pick up some footage of sharks being sharks: swimming, mating, eating. But sharks also attack things from time to time, and this time, a great white decided to try to make a meal out of the team's shark-tracking camera, fitted with 6 GoPros, resulting in video that allows us all to get up close and personal look at this "man-eater".
If you were as disappointed as I was when the Sydney Harbor shark video (above) was found to be a fake (a pretty good fake, though), it might've left you wanting real GoPro footage of a close encounter with a shark. Well, the footage captured by the WHOI team is very, very real. (You can trust them. They're scientists.)
The team, led by Amy Kukulya and Roger Stokey, took their underwater vehicle, the REMUS "SharkCam" (more on that after the video), off the coast of Guadalupe Island in Mexico to film great whites in the area. They were tracking one shark in particular, Lupita, a pregnant great white, when something unexpected occurred. I won't keep you in suspense. Check out the amazing footage, then scroll down for more on the shark-tracking, torpedo-like camera.
Two quick thoughts before we get to the REMUS: 1.) The sound of the shark's teeth against the metal; and 2.) 1:10 -- 1:20 of the video is probably the scariest real-life thing I've ever seen.
So, unless you're a hardcore nature documentarian (or scientist), you'll have no need for something like the "SharkCam", since most of its design is dedicated to navigating open waters to locate and track tagged marine life. However, it is interesting to see the GoPro yet again going right into the heart of the action -- or mouth -- filled with two dozen razor-sharp teeth. The GoPros, which gave the team a 360° view of waters surrounding the 100 lbs REMUS (Remote Environmental Monitoring Units), were enclosed in a housing that allowed them to be submerged almost 500 ft. underwater.
Here are a few specs for good measure:
- 6 REMUS GoPro video cameras providing 360° field-of-view
- Omni-directional USBL navigation system
- Acoustic communication system (ACOMMS), modem, and transducer
- Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP)
- GPS/Wi-fi/Iridium antenna
- Conductivity and temperature probe
I haven't met a person yet who isn't absolutely obsessed with Shark Week, so to whet your appetite for more great white action, here's a teaser from Jaws Strikes Back, which airs tonight on the Discovery Channel.