Shark biologists are extremely cool. While most people wouldn't go anywhere near a shark, these scientists are not afraid to get up close with the creatures they study... even if doing so leads to some pretty close calls!
The official @staytunednbc TikTok account shared a video from marine scientist Ocean Ramsey (yes, that's her real name), originally uploaded to her Instagram. While preparing to dive with Queen Nikki, a tiger shark she's swam with for 20 years, off the coast of Hawai'i, Ocean almost got a little *too* close!
WHOA! She was seconds away from diving into the shark's open mouth! Most people would have been terrified after such a close call, but not Ocean. The original Instagram post explains the situation a bit more: "Murky water and a lot of bird activity and the little opelu fish trying to hide from hunting kawa kawa under the boat made this day extra exciting with both fish and sharks practically jumping out of the water."
Nikki was already riled up by the frenzy of activity that day, and was attempting an "investigation bite"- which, as dangerous as it sounds, is not the same as a bite with the intent to attack or kill. Another TikTok user, @mooomooohya, explains: "That wasn’t an aggressive attack move, sharks raise their mouths out of the water to smell & explore, the way dogs sniff the ground around them."
Ocean recognized this, backed up, and waited for a moment before entering the water. That takes both practical knowledge of the sharks themselves and a lot of guts!
Ocean's fans came to chime in on the TikTok post. "The shark is Queenie [another of the shark's nicknames]. This scientist has known her since Queenie was a pup," explained @thegiftedliver. "Ocean has loads of videos swimming with that shark. She knows what she's doing but is always clear that accidents and mistakes can happen. She's great," admired @redbarrage.
Others were... less convinced. "I would be on indeed looking for a new job," stated @beckyleigh54. "That would be my sign NOT to go in the f-ing water." exclaimed @3dhernandez. LOL, fair enough- working with sharks has its risks, and it certainly isn't the right career for everyone!
As scary as this looks, its incredible how in tune Ocean is with her sharks. We hope she and Queen Nikki continue to safely swim together for many years to come!
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