Watch intense footage as sharks attack 'enemy' submarine

Commentary: The BBC's Blue Planet II team dives down to see what happens when whale carcasses fall to the ocean bed. Things get a little frightening.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


He doesn't look happy.

BBC/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I wouldn't do this. Not even if I was offered several lives.

You, though, might find it exciting, and scientifically valuable, to descend in a little submarine to the ocean's bed to see how the marine ecosystem functions.

BBC Earth's "Blue Planet II" team certainly thought it was a good idea, as it wanted to examine a so-called whale fall

So into the Atlantic Ocean the scientists went, off the coast of the Azores. 

At the very bottom, around 2,300 feet down, they found a whale carcass. And around it, a few sharks. 

You'd think the scientists might have been prepared for such sights. Instead, they expressed a little shock, as they watched the sharks feeding ravenously on the carcass. 

The sharks seem to have been a little surprised as well, as they espied an odd yellow creature that appeared to be craving a bit of whale too. 

It seemed clear the sharks weren't being friendly toward each other during their feast, and this metal interloper didn't fare any better. 

The astonishing footage shows the sharks' shock as they smack into the glass windows of the submarine and have their own faces squashed. 

It's like looking at slow-motion shots of boxers taking a punch they didn't see coming, their eyes bulging.

The whole thing has a happy ending, however. The sharks may've realized that the scientists had actually brought their own lunch.

One of the scientists expresses some nervousness during the encounter, but are we really so afraid of sharks? A recent study showed we shiver far more at the prospect of pollution, corrupt government officials, or losing our health care.

When they come to us, though -- just as much as when we go to them -- we do need to take every precaution. (I'm still talking about sharks, rather than government officials.)

So let's be grateful for new AI-powered drones that are beginning to patrol beaches. They can tell the difference between sharks and, say, surfers. 

Hopefully they do better at this than sharks who're trying to tell the difference between submarines and, well, very large yellowtails.

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