Reach out and touch this shark. Nice sharkey.

Andre Hartman, ‘Shark Whisperer,’ Puts Great White Sharks In Trance With Touch Of Hand (PHOTO) – The Huffington Post.

Forget dog and ghost whisperers, Andre Hartman takes the cake with his current title: shark whisperer. Yes it is as cool as it sounds and we have the photo to prove it.

Off the coast of South Africa, near Dyer Island, Hartman greets a great white shark through the water by placing his hand on its snout to put it in a trance and make it open its mouth, the Telegraph reports in their “Pictures of the day” gallery.

“This part of the shark’s body is loaded with nerve endings, and the creature’s sensory system became overloaded from the stimulus,” Perrine told the Daily Mail. “The shark seemed to enter a pleasant, but confused state where it was dreamily seeking the source of the stimulus. So there was no trigger for the shark to attack anything.

Tip: Fortean Times Daily News

Well, if that ain’t something!

Kids, don’t try this at home.

  3 comments for “Reach out and touch this shark. Nice sharkey.

  1. Massachusetts
    April 22, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    I wonder what’s going on neurologically with some of these animals like sharks and alligators that seem to go into a trance under certain circumstances? It seems so very unhelpful in terms of survival for another animal to have such control over them. But I suppose what critter in nature is going to find a way to flip that switch? Still, stranger things in nature have been known to happen.

  2. April 22, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Over stimulation of the sensitive nerve endings there? Nothing in else in nature I can think of would put them in a situation like that. So, it’s sort of an unintended glitch.

  3. Undoubted
    April 23, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Other animals use tonic immobility for defense: it slows their heart rates and muscle response so that their bodies are still and can blend into their surroundings in order to avoid potential predators. Similarly, scientists think that tonic immobility in sharks may be linked with their defense mechanism, since female sharks are more susceptible to being induced into tonic immobility than males, and Great Whites are actually less responsive than other kinds of shark. Since sharks need to swim to breathe, tonic immobility may provide them with a sort of temporary thanatos (should they need it) that would hopefully help them survive. They can only remain paralyzed in this way for about 15 minutes, anyway. Also, it is not just the sensitive nose that can induce this in a shark, but also inversion.

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