Don’t try this at home. Even if your home is the ocean, and you are Aquaman, this is still a risky proposition.
Filmed during Bahamas Underwater Photo Week, this video shows professional shark handler (a terrifying job description if we’ve ever heard one) Cristina Zenato summoning a Caribbean reef shark to her lap and scratching it on the nose like a puppy.
The factoid that sharks can be calmed or rendered docile through nose contact has been floating around (no pun intended) for a while now (it’s called Tonic Immobility), but no matter how many times we see it, it always looks like dark magic.
Stephen Frink filmed Zenato inducing this shark into tonic immobility with a GoPro camera. While the shark does look immobilized, and – dare we say it – kind of cute, even, it’s still a little unsettling to see one of the world’s oldest predators swim up for some head-scratches.
We wonder if it can be taught to fetch.
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