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February 23, 2014 10:27 pm

Jaws of Death: Fearless Israeli Wildlife Photographer Captures Close-Ups of Hammerhead Sharks

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Close-up of a shark captured by Amos Nachoum. Photo: Facebook.

Israeli wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum took to the coast of Bimini in the Bahamas recently to capture closeups of hammerhead sharks as they gnashed just inches away from him.

Nachoum, 63, caught unique footage of a 14-foot hammerhead as it swam toward him with open jaws attempting to swallow his camera. It managed to clamp its mouth around the metal apparatus but luckily swam away without causing any lasting damage, according to Britain’s Daily Mail, which published photos from Nachoum’s exploits on Sunday.

“When the shark came to bite my camera I thought, ‘do it’, I was very excited,” Nachoum said. “From my experience, I knew that as soon as the shark sensed the hard metal on the camera it would let it go. It was not used to it, its animal instinct is to bite on the flesh of a fish, not on hard metal.”

Nachoum and his crew also shot a number of other hammerhead sharks during the Bahamas expedition. The animals stayed in their vicinity for about four hours, allowing the divers the chance to engage with them close-up.

Nachoum, who has been leading wildlife expeditions for more than 40 years, according to the report, said he found the shark encounter “incredible.”

“It is a very high charged event – there is no time to be scared,” he explained. “The sharks never made any threatening approach towards me or my clients.”

Hammerheads can grow up to 20 ft. long and weigh as much as 450 kg. Speaking after the expedition, Nachoum said he hopes to change people’s negative perceptions about sharks.

“It is an awesome feeling to be able to dive peacefully with animals that have such an undeserved ‘bad’ reputation,” he said. “I’d like people to understand that a shark’s presence in the ocean is critical to the water’s health and longevity.”

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