An Australian cinematographer has caught incredible footage of what is believed to be the most scarred and battered great white shark ever recorded.
A stunning video shows a battered great white shark covered in scars and bite marks after years of battles.
The giant predator was spotted swimming near the Neptune Islands in South Australia, an area known to be home to an estimated 1000 great whites.
The clip shows the injured shark with marks all over its skin swimming among other small fish.
Underwater cinematographer Dean Spraakman, who captured the impressive footage during an expedition in January, said despite his injuries, the 3.3m male shark was incredibly “friendly”.
He claimed that the team could not be certain of what may have caused these marks, as no one had come across a shark so badly injured before.
Mr Spraakman said they initially thought the scars might have been caused by boat propellers or perhaps the shark had been caught in tuna pens in the area, but they quickly dismissed both theories.
“No one has ever seen a shark in a condition like this before,” Mr Spraakman said.
“We see sometimes down there the white sharks tracking stingrays because they hunt and eat them and we thought they chase them into shallow reef areas where it’s quite sharp and it might get stuck and cause that sort of damage.
“You can only speculate what happened there and to be honest no one … ever really knows what causes that sort of damage to a shark, but the poor guy had a bit of a hard time I think.
“I noticed he had scars on him but I didn’t realise to what length until I reviewed the footage later.
“He was very calm and coming close and quite curious which was great.
“He was really friendly, just very calm and wasn’t aggravated from everything he’s been through.
“He came very close, within an arm’s reach from me – sometimes when you get a good shark like that, they just want to come and look you in the eye, just have a really good look at who you are.”
However, National Geographic explorer Professor Yannis Papastamatiou said some of the marks might also have been caused by a fight with another shark.
“Females are often heavily scarred from mating behaviour but males can get bitten as well during dominance interactions between sharks, eg a larger shark may want a smaller shark and dominate the smaller individual with a non-fatal warning bite,” he said.
“Some of the scarrings around the face may also be caused by their prey such as seals.”
The Neptune Islands are well known as a venue for great white shark tourism.
Great white sharks can reach more than 6m long such as Deep Blue, the biggest great white ever recorded, weighing in a whopping 2.5 tons.
The gigantic female was last spotted swimming dangerously close to a pair of brave divers in Guadalupe, Mexico.
The coasts of Australia, California and South Africa are among the most popular great white shark hot spots, but there have been occasions when the predators have been spotted in the Mediterranean as well.
It comes a diver trying to stop a great white shark from breaking the glass of his protective cage was caught on camera.
The incident took place near Guadalupe Island off the west coast of Mexico, where the lucky scuba diver was eventually able to fend off the seven sharks that were circling him.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and has been reproduced with permission