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Massive Great White Shark High-Fives Diver [VIDEO]

Jun 11, 2015 09:50 AM EDT
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With flashbacks to Jaws in mind, it seems like an insane idea to leave the safety of a diving cage with a massive great white shark swimming just a few feet away. And yet that's exactly what one lucky diver did near Guadalupe Island in Mexico.

An incredible new video posted on Facebook shows biologist Mauricio Hoyos Padilla leaving his roofless cage to high-five a great white shark, believed to be one of the biggest ever caught on camera. Measuring at more than 20 feet long, the shark dwarfs the diver who managed to survive the close encounter, his hand still intact.

Padilla discovered the footage from a previous excursion in his computer this week. And since he posted it Tuesday, the video has received nearly three million views and has been shared more than 42,000 times.

The massive predator, aptly named Deep Blue, was first featured in August 2014 by the Discovery Channel in a documentary when researchers tagged the gigantic fish. At the time, the shark - which is believed to be over 50 years old - was heavily pregnant. And now, Deep Blue has made another appearance, during which she was luckily unfazed by the diver's presence as she swam around the cage.

In addition to her monstrous size, the shark is also recognizable by her many scars.

In the documentary, the narrator explains that large, vertical slashes on Deep Blue's left flank could be the result of fights with sharks or mating, according to the Daily Mail. The fish also has a large, gaping hole on her right trunk, and her dorsal fin and tail appear to be scraped and damaged.

Great whites (Carcharodon carcharias), the largest predatory fish on Earth, typically grow to 15 feet in length, with some, like Deep Blue, exceeding 20 feet long and weighing up to 5,000 pounds, according to National Geographic. The thriller Jaws gives great whites a bad rep, portraying them as mindless, meat-eating machines. But with more and more research scientists are starting to show them in a different light.

These animals seem to be merely curious, and now this latest case with Deep Blue suggests that the sharks are more laid back than previously thought, giving divers the occasional high-five.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

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