Shark swallowed whole by giant fish during feeding frenzy
It's pretty disturbing to think of how little we know about what goes on deep on the ocean floor. Under those crushing tonnes of water, way down in the dark and the cold, the horrific pressure makes scientific observation almost impossible. So when we do get a look at the subaquatic world, it's almost always fascinating... and creepy.
Case in point: a disturbing video has gone viral on social media this week which shows a shark being swallowed whole by a large fish, all while the animals are engaged in a vicious feeding frenzy.
Check out the amazing footage in the video below:
The footage in question stems from a video captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. One of their research vessels, the Okeanos Explorer, sent a high-tech camera down to the ocean floor off the coast of South Carolina, where a number of small sharks were tearing at the flesh of the carcass of a dead swordfish.
However, the researches got more than they bargained for when the hunter became the hunted. Halfway through a video, a large wreckfish slinks in front of the camera, with the tail and fins of a shark sticking out of its mouth.
In the video, one of the researchers observing the submarine scene can be heard to say: "[It's] more evidence really of how these systems work. Wow! I'm going to remember this forever!" The clip was later shared to the NOAA's official Facebook page, and now boasts over 500 likes and 400 shares.
The NOAA later reported that the 250-plus-pound swordfish had died of old age just a few hours before the video was filmed. The dead swordfish and the eating spree that followed is an example of an oceanic phenomenon known as a "food fall" - in which a large pelagic species, such as whales and swordfish, eventually sink to the bottom of the ocean after expiring, to provide meat for the hungry denizens of the depths.
I guess it's true what Liam Neeson says in The Phantom Menace: "There's always a bigger fish."