Watch An Absolute Unit of A Great White Leap From The Ocean In South Africa

Written by Kirstin Opal
Updated: November 13, 2022
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Key Points

  • This article covers a video about a great shite shark breaching the surface and leaping into the air.
  • Natural breaching behavior is normal among sharks.
  • Sharks are capable of flying 10 feet into the air and can swim about 40 miles an hour.

The great white shark is one of the animals that causes people the most fear. Attacks by great white sharks on people are actually quite uncommon, and it is even more unusual for one of these encounters to be fatal. Yet, the great white shark’s size and effectiveness as a predator contribute to the enduring of this unfounded fear.

While hunting, the great white shark launches itself out of the water, which is difficult to conceive for an animal weighing 2000 pounds. Great white sharks engage in a spectacular action known as breaching in order to capture seals and other fast-moving prey. 

Sharks are capable of flying 10 feet into the air while swimming at speeds of up to 40 mph. However, breaching is extremely uncommon because it takes so much energy for the shark to move. Once they have located a victim, they use a quick burst of velocity to hit and bite their prey.

great white shark
great white shark

Ramon Carretero/

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According to experts, during the past 18 years, the success rate of a breach has been around 47%, down somewhat from 51% over the previous five years. The chase will begin if the seal is able to escape the shark’s jaws. Let’s just say, you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a breaching shark! 

Great whites hunt by taking advantage of their speed and pigmentation. They swim underneath and hunt for prey at the ocean’s surface. The number of teeth in these top animals’ several rows can reach thousands. The teeth in the row behind them quickly take their place when they fall out.

These fangs are deadly with their sharp, serrated edges. Large, individual bites can be lethal.

A Close Encounter

As tourists explore the water on a boat in South Africa, they witnessed a jaw-dropping encounter. The water is calm and a beautiful shade of turquoise as the guests relax on the boat. Little did they know, a great white shark was lurking just beneath the surface.

Without warning, it bursts out of the water, breaching the surface and leaving everyone watching in awe. A video of the interaction has several comments, one of which reads, “What is scary is that you don’t see it until it’s broken the water. Amazing creatures.” It’s true! 

In certain of South Africa‘s waters, great white sharks have long occupied the top position in the food chain. Approximately 100 great white sharks per day may be seen off the coast of the Western Cape province during their busiest winter hunting seasons. The majority of sharks that breach in South Africa are adolescent sharks, which lack the mass of adult sharks but are nonetheless agile enough to leap.

Is It Normal for Sharks to Breach Water?

Natural breaching behavior is normal among sharks and other marine animals such as whales.

This type of behavior in great white sharks helps them catch fast moving prey like seals. Swimming faster at the surface helps sharks each 40 miles per hour and even fly 10 feet into the air. Although, this is rarely seen, it does happen and is normal.

Some marine animals are known to breach water. Sometimes it is to dislodge parasites or serve as a visual signal to other animals that there is danger in the water. Additionally, sharks may breach to attack prey.

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, her 14-year-old dog, or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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