Thursday, November 24, 2011

'Shark Attack Experiment LIVE,' Scientists Bait Sharks With Bikini-Clad Girls.

Girl. Bikini. Shark. The only thing missing are two notes on a tuba – duhm, duhm – that ominous, iconic indication that "Jaws" is about to turn the water blood red.

But here in the shark infested waters off the South African coast, the women are not actresses and the sharks are not movie robots. They are part of a bold experiment to prove that almost everything Steven Spielberg and Discovery Channel's "Shark Week" taught us to fear about the ultimate predator is wrong, and "Nightline" was invited along for an exclusive sneak peek.

Since making it his life's work to demystify these monsters, marine biologist Dr. Ryan Johnson free dived with sharks countless times, he uses bite meters to measure the strength of their jaws and even helped develop silicon "robo-seals" to study the way Great Whites hunt their prey in beautiful Mossel Bay.

But even though dozens of massive sharks spend over half of the year cruising less than a half-mile from some of the most popular beaches in Africa, there has not been a shark attack on humans here in over 20 years.

Johnson is so convinced that sharks are not the mindless man-eaters that he's recruited a small team of "shark angels" to test whether the animals are truly driven into a feeding frenzy by the sight of white flesh, the smell of human blood and urine or the flash of jewelry.

"All of us on this crew are convinced that what we're doing is responsible," Johnson said. "We wouldn't be doing this if we thought we were going to get bit. It's a chance for us to put ourselves on the line and prove our theories."

"You don't see that three months of filming cut down to that 20 seconds of gory action, action, action. You're actually gonna see what Great Whites are like, doing little sharky things, being calm and they're stunning to watch."


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