Touching huge great white sharks is fearless feat for diver; photos

Martin Kochling touches a great white shark while diving off Guadalupe Island, Mexico. Photo: Courtesy of Jean-Marie Ghislain/Caters News

Guadalupe Island off Mexico is a popular cage-diving destination to get up close and personal with great white sharks, the apex predator of the sea. But sometimes divers venture outside the cage, taking these encounters to the extreme.

Such was the case with German diver Martin Kochling, who not only swam with great white sharks he reached out and touched them.

Belgium photographer Jean-Marie Ghislain captured the close encounter in captivating photographs, though we are uncertain whether he was outside the cage as well.

Martin Kochling touches a great white shark while diving off Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
Martin Kochling touched a female great white shark and a male. Photo: Courtesy of Jean-Marie Ghislain/Caters News
Martin Kochling appeared fearless during the encounter with two great white sharks.
Martin Kochling appeared fearless during the encounter with two great white sharks. Photo: Courtesy of Jean-Marie Ghislain/Caters News

"There was a male and female shark, and they both had completely different personalities," Ghislain told Caters News, as reported by the Daily Mail.

RELATED: Diver risks losing arm by touching great white shark on nose

"The large female was a player who showed amazing social ability. The younger male was quite territorial and aggressive, but if you were an experienced diver you could manage him."

Guadalupe Island is the mecca for great white sharks. Photo: Courtesy of Jean-Marie Ghislain/Caters News

Obvious Kochling is an experienced diver, but managing great white sharks? Could there be such a thing?

If so then this encounter was one of those times, and Ghislain was happy to document it. Presumably it was sometime during the last diving season at Guadalupe Island, though neither Caters nor the Daily Mail revealed when it occurred.

"It's good to show you can have a peaceful encounter with a great white,"Ghislain said. "They have such great personalities."