One of the last things any surfer wants to consider is the possibility of sharing the water with a shark, yet for one Brazilian man, that reality became all too clear as a spinner shark photobombed him, launching itself out of the water after its prey.
Footage captured off the beach at Pedra do Sal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, shows Gabriel Melo surfing, according to Shark Attack News, as it quickly became apparent that he wasn’t alone in the water. As Melo began to ride a wave, a spinner shark erupted from the surf behind him. Unbeknownst to Gabriel, the shark spun around four times in the air before crashing back into the water. While another surfer appeared to be looking directly at the shark as it launched itself out of the sea, Melo noticed nothing of the animal’s presence at the time.
While other species of shark have been observed breaching, throwing themselves out of the water in order to attack prey, spinner sharks have a unique method of predation. When attacking a school of fish, a spinner shark will move vertically through the school, spinning on axis and snapping its jaws in multiple directions. The velocity of the shark’s attack can sometimes carry it out of the water, sending it corkscrewing through the air.
Composite of 7 photos of a Spinner Shark jumping out of the water in FL. Photographer: Mark Mohlmann pic.twitter.com/uk0XnuQWCd
— Shark Attack News (@SharkNewsToday) October 6, 2014
Similar methods of attack have been observed in other species of shark, including great whites. As The Inquisitr has previously noted, white sharks will often attack prey from below, vertically launching themselves at the animal, hoping to catch it unaware. The speed and power behind such an attack will often carry the shark out of the water, sometimes fully, no mean feat for an animal weighing a ton or more.
— Shark Attack News (@SharkNewsToday) October 17, 2014
Generally considered harmless to humans, spinner sharks can become aggressive in the presence of food. According to The International Shark Attack File, spinner sharks are responsible for only 16 unprovoked attacks on humans, none of which proved to be fatal.
Video of Melo’s close encounter with the spinner shark was uploaded to Vimeo under his account, and is viewable there [Warning: Adult Language In Subtitle].
[Image: Gabriel Melo via Shark Attack News]