Researchers off Guadalupe Island, the Mexican island famous for great white shark sightings, tracked a female shark named Emma with a robotic submersible and captured video of what they claim "nobody has ever seen before."
In "first-ever footage" shown in the "Jaws of the Deep" segment from Discovery Channel's popular Shark Week, the 14-foot great white shark is seen napping.
Researchers were documenting what great white sharks do at night and came away amazed.
"During the day the shark is staying deep waiting for some prey item to come above them so they can feed on it," a researcher says in the video. "During the night we're seeing very different behavior. The shark is hugging the shoreline more or less, staying close to the bottom."
The narrator continues:
"At 8:30 they see something no one's ever seen before. Emma's jaws gape open. She appears to be in an almost catatonic state. Could Emma be napping? [Researchers subsequently make that claim.]
"Facing into the current with her mouth open, oxygen-rich water flows over Emma's gills. It allows her to slow down and save energy for her hunting during the day. But she can never stop swimming completely or she'll sink to the bottom, suffocate and die."
Emma was originally spotted and named in 2012 by renowned cameraman Andy Casagrande. She is among the more than 160 great white sharks that have been documented at Guadalupe island since 2001, according to Shark Diving Experts.
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