Great white shark image captured last year off South Africa. Photo: ©Amanda Brewer
Great white shark looks ferocious but is only investigating. Photo: ©Dave Riggs

Every now and then a close encounter with a great white shark produces an image that stands out among most of the rest–portraying the essence of the world’s most fearsome-looking predator in a stunning and revealing manner.

Last year Amanda Brewer, a New Jersey grade-school teacher on a cage-diving expedition to South Africa, captured such an image by pure luck, and it took the Internet by storm. (Photo posted below.)
More recently, Dave Riggs, a filmmaker from Australia, captured an image that shows a large adult great white breaking the surface only a few feet from a crewman’s camera, which was being held at water level.

While the shark appears to be launching an attack, Riggs told ABC Goldfields-Esperance, it was merely having a look around.

“She was around 15 foot long, and wasn’t being aggressive, believe it or not, but certainly looks like it in the image,” Riggs said. “But that’s how they assess their surroundings.”

Riggs posted the image to his Facebook page on Tuesday, under the description:
“This is how a great white ‘sniffs’ .. it looks frightening but this .. it really is .. the last dinosaur .. WE MUST PROTECT this magnificent creature!!!!”

White sharks are perceived by many to be ferocious man-eaters, thanks largely to the movie, Jaws.
But the sharks have evolved over millions of years to become cautious and specialized hunters that launch savage ambush attacks on seals and other pinnipeds, as a matter of survival, but do not consider people to be prey.

Riggs was part of a documentary team obtaining footage at the Neptune Islands off South Australia.