Video of a Rare Deep-Sea Shark Blows One Scientist’s Mind

A Greenland shark is filmed off Russia’s Arctic coast for the first time—nerdy expletives follow.
Dec 17, 2014·
Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TakePart covering environment and wildlife.

We’ve seen videos of rocket scientists high-fiving after a successful Mars rover landing, and now we have footage of how one marine researcher handles discovering a rare shark species where it had never been seen.

The video, released Dec. 17 by National Geographic, shows researcher Alan Turchik’s reaction to seeing, for the first time, a Greenland shark swimming off the coast of Russia’s Franz Josef Land, a series of 192 islands north of the Barents Sea.

The discovery came last year as part of a research project documenting the biodiversity in Russia’s high Arctic—a study published this week in the journal Peer J. During its time north, the team deployed drop cams—basically cameras inside glass balls—that recorded footage of the deepest reaches of the ocean.

“There was literally no life,” Turchik says in the video. “I filmed three hours, and there was no life. I thought the deployment was a bust.”

Then the camera shakes. Out of the darkness, a large white object appears in the frame—and the expletives follow.

“Holy s--t! It’s a shark!” is most likely trending on marine biologists’ Twitter feeds now.

In a follow-up interview, Turchik says he lost it a little bit, but it’s still an exciting find. The Greenland shark can grow up to 22 feet long, making it one of the largest shark species in the world. While the one that swam into view was estimated at 6.5 feet, it’s still a major discovery in an area where little is known.