Mike Rutzen, worldwide famous as "Sharkman", is a former fisherman from South Africa who has become one of the best expert and defender of the White Sharks. His mission is to show that the huge predators are not bloodthirsty killers but are intelligent creatures with whom it is possible to comunicate. Sharkman infact has learned to mimic their body language, changing his posture in response to their actions and that had given him the chance to swim with the sharks so close that he is one of the few people in the world that could tell you that the shark eyes are not black but turquoise blue!.
He is seen neither as prey nor predator and the sharks happily glide past him, occasionally letting him ride with them by hanging on to their dorsal fins.
Mike, as you can see in the photo, has also put in action the phenomenon of "tonic immobility" which is a natural state of paralysis, which animals sometimes enter when faced with an imminent threat. However, it can be induced in sharks by turning them on their heads and massaging their snouts, close to the eyes. The reaction of the shark is something similar to what happen when you collar a cat from its neck.
The effects last for around 15 minutes and has proved a useful tool for scientists wanting to study shark behaviour.
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