Final yr, researchers from the Woods Gap Oceanographic Establishment (WHOI) launched a robotic “SharkCam” off Mexico’s Guadalupe Island, hoping to catch uncommon underwater video of great white sharks in motion. The sharks, in the meantime, had been simply hoping to catch some juicy seals.
Because the video above exhibits, neither the scientists nor the sharks received fairly what they had been anticipating.
The SharkCam — aka Remote Environmental Monitoring Units, or REMUS — is a torpedo-like robotic geared up with six GoPro cameras in addition to different instruments for finding, monitoring and recording radio-tagged wildlife. It was supposed to seek out tagged nice whites and movie them from a pre-determined “stand-off distance,” however the sharks beat it to the punch. They rapidly started looking it like they hunt seals: stalking from darker waters under, then surging as much as chew the robotic in its tail or midsection.
These appear to be predatory assaults, the researchers say, suggesting the sharks actually thought they had been looking a seal. It is fascinating to look at these historic predators crash into their prey, displaying a degree of gastronomic gusto that has helped them survive for greater than 400 million years. (You possibly can even see one lose a tooth on REMUS on the 2:01 mark.) It is also fascinating to look at them notice this is not meals, letting it drop unceremoniously as they swim off for one thing extra palatable.
As monstrous as these sharks look chomping onto REMUS, it is value noting they don’t seem to be the man-eaters typically depicted in motion pictures. Most people are too scrawny to be value their time, which helps clarify why sharks of all species — not simply nice whites — kill fewer than 10 folks worldwide in a median yr, in contrast with the 100 million sharks killed yearly by us. That does not imply sharks aren’t legitimately scary, after all. It is only a reminder that we might be even scarier.
REMUS has now tracked basking sharks and nice whites, however it additionally has much less harrowing missions on the horizon. In accordance with WHOI, plans are underway to enlist the robotic’s assist in learning sea turtles.
Associated shark tales on MNN: