See A Great White Shark Attack A Drone!

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Written by Kyle Glatz

Updated: November 10, 2023

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great white shark leaping out of water
© Alexyz3d/Shutterstock.com

Key Points:

  • Great White Sharks may attack man-made objects if they mistake them for prey. This is because they rely on their sense of sight and smell to locate their prey, and may be unable to differentiate between natural prey and man-made objects.
  • The most common man-made objects that Great White Sharks attack are boats and surfboards. This is because they may mistake these objects for seals or other marine mammals, which are common prey items for these sharks.
  • While attacks on man-made objects are rare, they can be dangerous. Great White Sharks are powerful predators, and their bites can cause significant damage to boats, surfboards, and other objects.

Advances in technology have brought us closer to wildlife than ever before. In this video, a small group of people provokes a great white shark attack using a drone towing a water-bound decoy. Their goal is to film a shark breaching and eating their decoy off the coast of South Africa.

The video begins with an explanation of how the drone and decoy are expected to work. The goal is to film an attack without bringing down the drone. Basically, the drone flies dozens of feet in the air and drags the decoy on a line. The line is connected to the drone by magnets. Thus, when something bites the decoy, the line merely detaches.

The decoy is a two or three-foot-long reproduction of a small shark. Even though it doesn’t necessarily look the part, the crew sets about testing the drone and decoy to ensure the setup skims the surface of the water and breaks away on contact.

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This isn’t a task they can do from the shoreline, though. They set out on a boat during prime time for great white shark attacks and feeding, dusk. The team calibrates their video and photograph equipment. It’s not long until the silhouette of a great white shark appears, trailing the decoy.

The video provides amazing insight into the way that shark attacks take place. These incredible fish stalk their prey from below and behind. They don’t want their prey to know they’re near them until it’s too late.

Octocopter, copter, drone

Originally developed by the military, drones are unlikely bait for great white sharks.

©iStock.com/seregalsv

Tension builds as the most aggressive shark in the world chases the decoy, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Suddenly, the decoy appears to pop out of the water as the shark attacks it, breaching, grabbing the decoy, and turning over in midair before disappearing into the dark waters below.

The video shows several still shots and replays of the shark breach. As it turns out, the entire encounter was filmed from multiple angles. The crew is understandably elated, with one calling it the highlight of his career. Another crew member talks about how unlikely it was to even get the shots and angles that they managed.

All told, this was a very unique experiment that shows how novel technology can help us better understand the breaching behavior of sharks. Also, we get to see amazing footage in the pursuit of knowledge!

Is It Normal For Great White Sharks To Attack Technology?

Great White Shark in pond

The great white shark is the largest predatory species of fish.

©wildestanimal/Shutterstock.com

Great White Sharks are known for their size, strength, and predatory behavior. They are the largest predatory fish in the world and are capable of inflicting serious harm to their prey, which typically consists of fish, seals, sea lions, and even whales. However, there have been reports of Great White Sharks attacking technology such as boats, surfboards, and even underwater cameras.

So, is it normal for Great White Sharks to attack technology? The short answer is no. Sharks are not capable of differentiating between natural prey and man-made objects, and will sometimes investigate or bite things that they encounter in their environment. However, such behavior is not considered normal or common.

It is important to note that Great White Sharks are not inherently aggressive toward humans or man-made objects. Rather, their behavior is largely driven by their natural instincts to hunt and feed. When a Great White Shark encounters an unfamiliar object, it may investigate it out of curiosity. In some cases, it may even bite the object to test its suitability as prey. However, once it realizes that the object is not food, it will typically lose interest and move on.

While attacks on technology are not common, they do occur from time to time. For example, in 2015, a Great White Shark attacked a research drone that was being used to study marine life off the coast of Western Australia. The shark bit into the drone, causing it to malfunction and sink to the bottom of the ocean. Similarly, there have been numerous reports of sharks attacking boats, surfboards, and other man-made objects.

Other Amazing Shark Videos You Might Like

This great white shark breaches the water, completely launching himself out of the water. This behavior is normal for great whites in search of certain prey, such as seals. It’s a way to sneak attack, and anyone who witnesses this phenomenon is quite impressed.


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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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