Daredevil diver calms giant shark with just a touch of his hand

This is the incredible moment a man swims next to a tiger shark and communicates with the sea monster with just a touch of his hand.

Daredevil Pierrick Seybald, 34, dubbed shark whisperer, enjoys swimming underwater and making friends with the predators.

Stunning video taken by photographer Cam Grant shows the sharks with their enormous mouth wide open before the diver controls or redirects them with his hand.

Pierrick, who owns MooreaMoana Tour, from French Polynesia, said: "I'm a shark safety diver and I do shark feeding in specific areas to attract sharks and provide a great experience for my guests.

"We have a place in Tuamotu Island where we study the behaviour of the tiger shark population. This place is maybe one of the best in the world to observe tiger sharks.

"Sometimes you can have more than 10 tiger sharks in the water in competition for food and they often come to challenge you. No beginners or guests can go there, just very experienced shark divers.

"When these big female tiger sharks come to challenge me with their mouth open I have to be ready to control or redirect them.

"They don't really want to attack me and just want to show me their dominance. If a shark really wanted to attack me, trust me I would not be here today. Sharks are very smart and they know we are not at all in their food chain.

"I often calm them by stimulating the ampullae of Lorenzini with my hand. We call that the tonic immobility and we use that method to remove hooks that sharks got from fisherman."

The ampullae of Lorenzini are special sensing organs called electroreceptors, forming a network of jelly-filled pores.

These sensory organs help fish to sense electric fields in the water. Each ampulla consists of a jelly-filled canal opening to the surface by a pore in the skin and ending blindly in a cluster of small pockets full of special jelly.

Tonic immobility is a natural state of paralysis that animals enter, often called animal hypnosis. Its function is not certain.

It may be related to mating in certain animals like sharks. It may also be a way of avoiding or deterring predators.

"I just love sharks and feel good with them," added Pierrick.

"People have to understand the importance of sharks for our ocean and change the bad perception that they can have.

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