This GoPro footage is a scene straight out of a Jaws sequel.
When I was younger, the original Jaws movie traumatized me and made me deathly afraid of sharks. As a result, I've never been able to go swimming in the oceans because of what may be lurking beneath the surface. Every so often, a video comes along that confirms my decisions to stay safely on the shorelines.
This GoPro footage out of South Africa was shot by Johan Potgieter while he was spearfishing. He has not been in the water long. In fact, he's only just hitting the bottom when a massive white shark comes out of the dark depths to investigate.
It's a terrifying moment captured on camera. Watch through to the end to see the shark swim underneath him as he quickly surfaces back to the boat and safety.
Even underwater, you can hear Johan's shock and surprise when that huge shark comes out of the gloom suddenly only to within inches of his face. Fortunately for him, it seems this encounter was more exploratory than predatory. The shark simply wanted to see what he was and why he had invaded his home. Humans aren't a common sight to many sharks after all.
These animals do not normally prey on humans. However, it is worth noting that some of the worst great white attacks in history have happened to spearfishermen and skin divers operating far below the surface. In 1963, Rodney Fox was shredded by one during an Australian spearfishing tournament in one of the worst attacks anyone has ever suffered and lived to tell about. He received over 400 stitches to seal his wounds. Others, like skin diver Robert Pamperin, were not as lucky. He as swallowed alive by a massive white off the coast of California in 1959. Johan is fortunate this shark wasn't aggressively in a feeding mood.
While spearfishing does look like a lot of fun, it's videos like this that keep us content to watch videos instead of diving into the depths ourselves!