This is the moment when a brave diver comes within inches of being fish food as a giant hammerhead shark bares its teeth at him. Diver Eli Martinez bravely stands his ground after coming face-to-face with the prehistoric hunting machine while free diving outside of a protective cage.
This incredible and scary close encounter was photographed off Bimini Island in the Bahamas.
Eli feeds one of the great hammerheads off the coast of Bimini Island.
After multiple trips and many hours under water, these sharks finally became familiar with Eli in January of this year.
Eli stated: “They don’t have a lot of interest in divers as they are so interested in the bait we are offering them”
Free diving outside a protective cage, Eli hand feeds these prehistoric creatures with rows of razor-sharp teeth.
Despite their look, hammerheads are very shy and take a lot of work before they are comfortable around people.
He said: ‘This was my second season visiting the great hammerheads of Bimini and working with them this close.
“They are very finicky sharks – they are very particular about the bait that you use when chumming for them.”
“You can’t use the same type of bait that would attract other species of sharks in because it won’t work.”
“They are very large sharks but they are elegant predators. But you still have to respect these animals and be careful, following the obvious rules they demand.”
Eli, who runs shark diving tours through his website, hopes to change the negative perception people have about sharks. He added: ‘Great hammerheads are an endangered species and protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. “They are coveted by the shark fin trade because of their very large fins so they have been relentlessly hunted and the global population of these sharks has suffered.” Fortunately the Bahamas is a shark sanctuary and while they are in these waters they enjoy protection.
It is truly a privilege to spend time in the water with these animals and an honor to be able to share them with the world to show how amazing and beautiful they truly are.