Gone Fishing: Great White Shark Devours a Snack Midair

Wildlife photographer captures a striking moment at sea

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Chris McLennan / Barcroft Media / Landov

A great white shark breaches the water to take a decoy seal in waters off in False Bay, South Africa.

The cover of TIME’s latest issue, which takes a look back at the year in pictures, features a striking image of a seal just barely escaping the jaws of a great white shark off the coast of South Africa. A new photograph released today, taken by wildlife photographer Chris McLennan, captures another South African shark leaping into the air. This one, however, did manage to snatch his prey, which turned out to be a decoy seal.

See the cover below and decide which shark image you find more riveting. For more of the year’s best photography, check out TIME’s roundup of the most surprising pictures of the year.

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19 comments
Carly
Carly

The physics principles are fantastic, but let's just ponder the idea of someone getting into the water with a great white shark to put a harness on it so a helicopter can lift it (all 2,000+ pounds of it) out of the water. Volunteers?  What an absurd thing to post.  

mvn591014
mvn591014

All projectiles follow the laws of physics. According to this figure: http://www.astarmathsandphysics.com/a_level_maths_notes/M1/a_level_maths_notes_m1_projectiles_html_19deb419.gif


The picture of the white shark taking a bite of the decoy was taken instantaneously at the peak of the parabolic curve when Vx was at some speed while Vy was at zero.


Wildlife photographer Chris McLennan uses the multi-shot feature of his camera to select that precise shot of the body of the shark being perfectly parallel to the waters. Eventually, the shark would no dive back into the waters.

tsnorris1965
tsnorris1965

Bad Fish. Swallow ya' whole.

                       ----Quint

fizbanic
fizbanic

Anyone questioning the authenticity of the photo on the basis that a great white would not leave the water when attacking a seal on the surface.  Go through these and then come back here. 

https://www.google.ca/search?q=flying+great+whites&client=firefox-a&hs=VKF&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=lCG7UtnnGcLooATjyoHABw&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1920&bih=918


Click on Video as your search results and enjoy the shows. 


Although it seems to me that Time is lagging behind on this subject as it has been on mythbusters over a year ago as well Discover Channel has an episode that has aired during their last 3 shark weeks at least that I recall.

mvn591014
mvn591014

The seal caught by the shark in South African waters was a decoy. However, there is no indication of wires being strapped to the Great White body and of being held by a helicopter. As for Photoshop, the drops of water from under the shark body look too real.


Here are more photos from the same wildlife photographer Chris McLennan. You make the judgement on whether they are fake or not.

Source: http://cmphoto.co.nz/svalbard-polar-bears-norway/

danbendor
danbendor

I think that "photo" may have been photoshopped.  A shark can't leap out of the water parallel to the water.  Its power comes from it's tail muscles, not the pectoral fins.  That photo is more like a helicopter rising from the water.  On the Time cover, the shark is emerging vertically, as would be expected.

ChrisMclennan
ChrisMclennan

@fizbanic Yes it is nothing new  -  but totally genuine - and taking the photos was an epic experience :-)

ChrisMclennan
ChrisMclennan

@mvn591014 Hee hee - they are very real!!  You can find a lot of examples and evidence of this behaviour if you google it!  Even better, get to South Africa and experience it for yourself!  Regards, Chris McLennan (the photographer)

ChrisMclennan
ChrisMclennan

@danbendor  It is real :-)  Sharks can and do leave the water vertically and at almost any angle - but they dont re enter the water tail first so in every breach there are a range of angles.  Cheers, Chris McLennan

fizbanic
fizbanic

@danbendor Discovery channel has a whole hour documentary on the flying great whites off the African coast.  You may question a photo but hard dispute videos.  Also Jamie and Adam from Mythbusters did hit upon the topic as well I believe.  Hard to judge an action just from a photo.

james9371
james9371

@danbendor Please Google the term "great white leaping," look at the resulting images, and then decide if you want to come in here to correct your statement.  Because you're 100% wrong.  Merry Christmas.

AndrewFifeZA
AndrewFifeZA

@ChrisMclennan @danbendor Chris is damn right. With our company Shark & Safari in Cape Town , we have witness many of these breaches over the years. Visit us in the South African winter months ( Summer inthe US) for the best breaching oppertunities. www.sharkandsafari.co.za