Photographer’s insanely close encounter
SHOCKING pictures have captured the moment a huge Great White shark came within inches of a photographer's hand as he tried to get the best shot.
The incredible images show the curious 16-foot-long predator emerging from the water and swimming over to check out the photographer's camera that was dangling in the water.
Other striking shots show the fearsome 135 kilo beast flash its razor-sharp teeth as it bites onto the corner of a metal cage.
The remarkable incident was caught on camera at Neptune Islands, off the coast of South Australia, by 26-year-old commercial abalone diver Luke Thom, from Margaret River in WA.
The islands are well known for great white shark tourism.
"I was watching Andrew Fox taking these incredible photos of Great White sharks so I thought I'd try to get a shot of him getting his photo because of how close he gets to them with the fish-eye camera," Mr Thom said.
"Holy s*** is probably the most common reaction. I see a story and a moment in the photo. It's not like watching a video. You can look at a photo and imagine what is going on.
"These sharks are pretty incredible animals and they need protection and minimal human impact."
The Neptunes comprise two pairs of islands known as the North and South Neptunes. Male Great Whites, up to 16-foot-long, inhabit the islands all year round.
The seal pups are born in summer, but don't start entering the ocean until winter. That's when the giant female Great Whites, up to 19-foot-long, come to the Neptunes.