6-Gill Sharks Attack Submarine

Via National Geographic (Link for the firewall impaired)

What a frightening and awesome experience! Did you hear the screeching sound? That’s teeth grinding on plexiglass… You can actually see the sub recoil a small bit from some of the less "friendly" nudges. The host notes that the sharks might be attacking because of the electrical signals emitted by the submarine. It makes sense to me but do any of the fish biologists reading want to weigh in? It didn’t look like the submarine was doing anything to aggravate the sharks other than by just being there. They aren’t attacking the lights, unless it is the light in the submersible. Maybe the sharks didn’t like the bait they put out and are "voicing" their opinion? – KAZ

Kevin Zelnio (870 Posts)


17 comments on “6-Gill Sharks Attack Submarine
  1. Looks like Karl Stanly’s operation out of Roatan Honduras. I did this back in 2003 with him. We went from a 1600 sandy shelf to almost 2000 after those critters had bumped us around.

    The vehicle is 9000lbs. It’s an
    amazing dive and it’s the only baited sub dive that I know of. Great opp to study these animals.

  2. Karl Stanley’s submarine in Roatan is on the top of my list! I didn’t know he baits it. That’s amazing. He’s a very innovative guy.

  3. We dive with 6 gills here in BC. They aren’t vicious or anything near as dramatic as this video claims. It’s kinda bs.

  4. It doesn’t seem like attacking so much as investigating to me. Great whites will bump and nibble an unfamiliar object to try to figure out if it matters.
    Additionally, some parts of this particular large unfamiliar thing were edible. Why not see how much?

  5. if karl was using horse carcasses or severed pigs heads to lure the animals as he commonly does, im guessing the sharks would have been more attracted to those than some electrical current. ill be interested to see how NG presents it in the full episode.

  6. That would be cool without that idiot’s voice – “We’re so cloooose, I didn’t think we’d be this cloooose” – geez, shut up with the dramatic teenaged whining. Ugh. Beautiful video, horrid narration.

  7. Jared, Its scary but this is what production companies think people want to see. Short of information, big on awe and spectacle.

    Is there any evidence that a calm, reasonable, informative narration attracts less viewers? This is the deep sea, the content sells itself practically. All you need is some killer footage or photos.

  8. Forget your ‘Squid Overlords’ – these guys are The Masters of the Deep. Like Kevin says – now all is needed is a really good naration; although full marks for enthusiaum. as a side note, a surfer and a diver in New Zealand waters harrassed by another member of the family – the broadsnouted seven gill. Treat these sharks with respect!

  9. Sharks also sense magnetic fields, so they will often investigate metal boats, cages and so on. As Tjewell says, this was definitely investigating, not attacking (including biting the sub – most shark “attacks” are sharks taking exploratory bites to see what’s there, rather than actually deciding people make a good meal).

    The announcer also kept referring to the sharks as “he,” but at least two of those were lady sharks.:)

    • Good catch on the gender Theresa! It goes to show the engrained assumptions in society. I agree about the investigating. He was way overblowing the event, like getting “rammed” by the shark lol.

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