Researchers from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy got the shock of their lives when a great white breached the water right next to their research boat off the coast of Wellfleet.
Dr Greg Skomal was on the prowl of a research vessel looking to fit a locator tag on a reported shark off the coast of Cape Cod when he was given a shocking up close and personal view of its gaping jaws.
Video uploaded to YouTube by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy shows the researcher on a boat in waters off the USA state of MA.
Atlantic White Shark Conservancy experts said exact population of these sharks in United States waters was unknown, "but the species is thought to be rare".
As he scans the water for sharks one jumps out of the ocean below him and lunges at his feet. Mr Skomal holds a long pole with a GoPro camera attached to capture footage of the shark. If you slow the video down, you can see the wide-open mouth gaping just below the researcher's boots.
The clip went live on Monday, chalking up almost 250,000 views by lunchtime on Tuesday.
The conservancy describes the above-water encounter as "rare".
The Harbormaster's Office says the White shark sighting was confirmed around 3 p.m. off Manomet Point.
Yet the sight of a 2,000lb great white shark breaching remains one of the holy grails of both scientific and nature watching.
Wellfleet is located about 34 miles from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where lifeguards ushered beachgoers out of the water on July 27 after a great white shark was spotted devouring a seal near a group of surfers, according to Twitter user Ken Martin, who filmed the incident.
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