A great white shark off Florida? Yup it happens (Hi Lydia!). A spear diver with a trusty GoPro camera at just the right time? Hey, sometimes the Universe is lookin’ out for us. But spear fisherman Zack Spurlock is probably more thankful for that other thing he had nearby when a curious great white shark swam over to check him out while diving for lion fish off Port Canaveral – namely his pole spear, which he had just in case things went sideways, which, fortunately, they never did.
The video emerged just this week and sticks out for two reasons. First, while it does happen, it’s highly unusual to see a great white shark off the Sunshine state. Second, GoPro – like Google – seems to be everywhere these days, and is changing how we experience and interact with our environment.
GoPro First, Spear Second
The video captures Spurlock’s chance encounter with a great white shark about 25 miles south of Port Canaveral. The shark is not agitated nor threatening in any manner. He’s what perennial Shark Week dude/researcher in Sharks & scary stuff Chris Fallows would call “A Player” – a large great white shark with a calm, even temper, who’s curious enough to hang out for a longer encounter.
Spurlock doesn’t appear to be afraid of the shark either, and instinctively reaches up for his friend on the boat to toss him the GoPro camera, though he makes a wise decision at 0:45 into the video that costs him the money shot and provides a good jolt when the camera pans up to the shark about 20 seconds later.
This was a very lucky encounter, and a beautiful moment. But what really sticks out for me is how quickly it was uploaded and made the rounds online. Just ten years ago, you’d pretty much need a specialized underwater camera to get this. Then you’d have to load it on to your computer, make edits and do the laborous process of uploading to a few select sites,
Today, GoPro cameras have WiFi. You ARE the channel now, literally. And what you catch is instantly merged and makes the rounds in hopes that your cool stuff goes viral.
Is that good or bad? I don’t know. But man, we’ve come a long way in just ten years. Frankly, I think Google will end up buying GoPro. Yes, that’s a prediction – you heard it here first.
Enjoy the video!