A Great Hammerhead Gliding Through the Shallows, South Bimini, Bahamas
Photo by Craig O'Connell
Craig O'Connell, a graduate student studying shark behavior at UMass Dartmouth, captured this shot while in the Bahamas assessing the impact of new bycatch reduction technologies on shark behavior. "Typically at the end of each experimental trial, [the research team] likes to swim and take photographs with the sharks, as it is not only a privilege to share the water with them, but also a thrilling experience," O'Connell said. "During this particular day, we had three great hammerhead sharks, two bulls sharks and six nurse sharks swimming around the boat, so we were quite excited to get in and take a look."
Soon after diving in, O'Connell saw a dark silhouette appear in the distance. "My heart began to race, but I took a deep breath and quickly swam to the bottom and waited for that shark to swim overhead. Just as it did, I snapped the photograph, looked at my LCD screen and realized I got the photograph I always dreamed of getting."