Would You Swim With These Sharks?

Whether you are willing to dive into a school of sharks in reality will be a moot point soon as GoPro is working on a virtual reality shark experience that will not require you even get wet. 

One of the organizers of the project to create the virtual reality video says the experience may even be better than the real thing. Once it’s completed, viewers can watch through a head set and experience what the diver’s are seeing from the comfort of their own home.

“Without a doubt this has the distinct capacity to show people what it’s really like to be underwater with large predator sharks, to show their true nature that may even be better than being there at that time,” said Jim Abernethy a shark conservationist.

A group of filmmakers recently traveled to the Bahamas to capture sharks in their natural environment. About a quarter mile off the coast of Bimini is where they encountered a school of bull sharks, some roving nurse sharks and even a few hammerheads.

“It’s imperative that we all join forces and try to protect our oceans and animals, especially the apex predator that’s in control of maintaining the health of our oceans,” Abernethy said. 

The goal of the endeavor, said Lee Bledsoe, a virtual reality specialist on the project, was to show that so-called man-eaters are not what the media makes them out to be.  

“I really want to show people that human beings can interact with sharks in a super safe way so then hopefully when they see that they’ll know it’s not Jaws,” Bledsoe said. “Will show people what it’s like to see these animals cruise around. It’s really beuaitufl.

Bledsoe had just become scuba certified two months prior and this was just his 6th all-time dive. 

“As I walked up toward the back half of the platform I had a lot of emotion, thoughts racing through my head,” he said in the GoPro behind the scenes footage posted to Youtube. “As sooon as I stepped into the water, though, my mind settled down and I sort of went into a meditative state. Everything Jim was saying was true, they are not born to eat people. Yes there were all these sharks around me but never once did I feel in danger. It felt surreal to reach out and pet a shark and still have all my fingers.”

Photo credit: Youtube