A TikTok video of a scuba diver has gone viral after she demonstrated how to escape a shark attack—using a real-life tiger shark. Interesting choice…
Kayleigh Grant, co-founder of Kaimana Ocean Safari tours and professional scuba diver who goes by @mermaid.kayleigh on TikTok, posts countless videos of her underwater adventures and her up close and personal encounters with ocean life.
Earlier this week, Grant posted a video that went viral—reaching more than 2.4 million views—of her friend Andrianna coming face-to-face with a fearsome tiger shark. In the clip, Grant gave viewers direct instructions on what you should do if a shark attack appears imminent.
In the case of the tiger shark, Grant informed viewers, “You can place your hand on the top of their head, push down gently, and that will redirect them away from you.” As seen in the video, Grant’s friend swims towards the shark, reaches out and pushes down firmly on its head. The predator then proceeds to turn its tail and swim away, allowing Adrianna to make her crucial escape.
Grant also went on to provide some solid advice if we were ever in the unfortunate position to have an encounter with a hungry shark. She emphasised: “Splashing and swimming away imitates what prey does.”
“When we’re dealing with top predators like sharks, we want to also act like a predator,” the expert continued. In order to accomplish this, swimmers must “not splash” in the water. Instead, they should “turn around,” face the animal, and “maintain eye contact.”
Grant further explained to her audience that sharks, despite their fearsome reputation and horrific representation from the media, are actually quite gentle creatures. “They are not the man-eating monsters the media portrays and typically want nothing to do with humans—so much so that just pushing on their head is enough to deter [them].”
However, it’s safe to say that fellow TikTok users didn’t really see eye-to-eye with this sentiment, with one writing: “The most effective way is to NOT swim in the ocean 😅”
“Nah that shark is a paid actor 😳😳” another voiced while a third hilariously commented: “Directions unclear, now I’m missing my left leg.”
While this information is definitely one to remember, should you ever be in a dicey predicament with a shark, I’m sure I can speak for many when I say that I will be keeping my feet firmly on dry land. Thanks, but no thanks.
Every year, Discovery Channel runs a week-long celebration of our favourite ocean predator: sharks. Termed ‘Shark Week’, the channel showcases these infamous creatures in all their glory on various programmes created especially for the event. This year, biologist Forrest Gallante hosted Island of the Walking Sharks and captured some never before seen footage of—you guessed it—walking sharks.
Now don’t panic, we’re not talking about Jaws popping out of the ocean for a morning jog here. The predator in question is the rare epaulette shark, scientific name Hemiscyllium Ocellatum, and is usually a cream or brown colour with spots. This little guy can grow up to just over a foot in length, so there’s no danger of it actually chasing you down the beach.
However, the epaulette can survive up to an hour out of water as it forages for food in tide pools and uses its fins to ‘walk’ across the rocks.
Gallante was ecstatic after witnessing the event. “This is the first time in history one of the Papuan species of epaulettes has been documented walking,” he said.
“This is so incredible. All traits are selected for, when it allows a species to survive better and eke out an environment where they’re safe and can get food…But once they’re done, they’re trapped. What epaulettes have learned to do is climb up in the reef and plop themselves in the next tide pool.”
Epaulette sharks only feast on worms, bony fish and crustaceans, so there’s no need to worry about one of us becoming a tasty snack for them. That being said, however, future generations might have to watch out as these walking sharks have the potential to evolve and head to shores worldwide with rising temperatures. But as of today, it’s safe to say that the breed is the last one on the list you should be worried about.
Gallante also received mountains of praise on social media after the programme was broadcast, with one fan writing, “@ForrestGalante once again, Forrest has my fav show on shark week. That was awesome. Thank you!” and another saying: “Dude, this is a show I didn’t think I’d like that is absolutely captivating!!!”
Gallante himself admitted that he ‘totally freaked out’ when he witnessed the world-first scene play out in front of him and has since urged people to catch up on the show on Discovery.