A bait box camera set to capture footage of marine animals in their natural habitat ended up in the jaws of a hungry tiger shark – and the hair-raising clip aired during Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, which is currently taking place.

Shark Week is an annual week-long program of shows on the Discovery Channel showcasing all things shark. Since its inception in 1988, it has been a highlight on the calendar of shark enthusiasts around the world who are dedicated to their conservation and correcting misconceptions about them.

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Former diver Paul de Gelder and marine ecologist Johan Gustafson are behind the footage, even though they didn’t expect their camera to get so close to a shark. In the video, you can hear them say in a shocked tone, “Wow he swallowed it, he took the whole box in his mouth!”

This unusual view of a shark’s mouth shows off its flapping gums and menacing rows of razor-sharp teeth – not a place you’d want to go to retrieve a camera. It’s unclear if the shark spat out the camera after realizing it wasn’t a tasty snack, but we can only hope he did it for himself.

Sharks are stereotypically one of the world’s most feared animals, and movies like Jaws and The mega have not really contributed to the reputation of this supreme predator. However, while sharks are big and scary and have teeth that can cause death, most sharks will go their whole lives without ever coming into contact with a human, according to the American Museum of Natural History (opens in a new tab).

Statistically speaking, you are more likely to be struck by lightning or killed in a car accident than to be attacked by a shark. Although of course it would have Jaws much more boring.

It’s not the first time a camera has gotten a little too close for the comfort of a sharp-toothed predator. Last year, a TikTok video went viral after an alligator attacked a drone while it was flying too low (opens in a new tab). Unfortunately for the alligator, it bit directly into the battery, causing plumes of smoke from its mouth due to a chemical reaction that occurred.

There is a fine line between using cameras to monitor and study nature and being so close to interfering with a wild animal. Of course, these divers weren’t expecting a shark to literally take the bait, but at least they managed to capture something truly unique.

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