How many of us would willingly plunge into shark infested waters? Yeah, neither would we. However, there is one man out there that is working hard to prove that sharks aren’t as scary as we think. He’s managed to bond with them and actually pets them! So how did he manage to figure out the secret to becoming a shark whisperer? You’ll be blown away by the answer.
20. Scary Reputation
Sharks have a pretty scary reputation. In fact, there’s an entire genre of movies dedicated to sharks attacking unsuspecting humans in open water. It’s no wonder we fear them so much.
We often associate sharks as cold-blooded killers that have absolutely no feelings about biting off a limb. Many of us won’t go into the ocean with a bleeding paper cut. However, could it be that sharks are much more friendlier than we’ve initially assumed?
18. Proving The World Wrong
There is one man out there that is going out of his way to prove the world’s idea of sharks wrong. His name is Jim Abernethy and he compares shark’s to dogs. So how did this fascinating obsession with sharks begin?
17. Shark Conservationist
Jim Abernethy happens to be a shark conservationist and he works hard to make sure that sharks are well protected. While doing this, he has managed to bond with the sharks in the most amazing ways. He’ll often dive into the waters of Tiger Beach in the Bahamas to help out a shark in need.
16. Helping Out
So how exactly does Jim help out these sharks? Well, for starters, he dives into the water and removes any hooks or objects that may have gotten lodged in the shark. He’s done this for a great number of sharks…
15. Tons of Sharks
So far, Jim has been able to help the lives of 80 sharks from hooks and other obstructions. While helping them out, he has managed to connect with the sharks on a very personal level. This is how his idea on sharks completely changed.
14. Scuba Diving
Jim runs Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures, a scuba tour agency. His agency promotes the idea of bonding with sharks and becoming friendly with them. Their motto is pretty simple and people actually sign up for scuba courses!
13. The Mission
“For over 30 years JASA has been the premier outfitter for up close and personal encounters, in addition to world-class photography opportunities, with tiger, great hammerhead, oceanic white tip, bull, lemon and whale sharks,” the website explains.
12. Tiger Beach
The agency makes good use of Tiger Beach as a scuba diving area because it has been deemed relatively safe. Jim and his crew have even named some of the sharks that they see on more than one occasion. It is obvious that he has a strong bond with them.
11. Knowing Him
Since Jim has dived into the Tiger Beach waters time after time, the sharks actually recognize him. Due to this, they understand that Jim means them no harm and they don’t hurt him in any way. This is what makes scuba diving there possible.
10. Not A Threat
Since the sharks know that Jim is not a threat, they also know that his scuba diving team isn’t a threat either. Since the sharks don’t fear Jim, he has been able to do something even more amazing lately on his diving trips. You won’t believe what it is!
9. Petting Them
Recently, Jim has begun placing his hand on the sharks – essentially petting them. To many of us, the idea of even swimming next to a shark is horrifying, let alone touching one. However, the sharks don’t seem to mind being touched by Jim.
The first time Jim had placed his hand on top of the shark’s head he was pretty intimidated. After all, he didn’t know how the shark would respond. He could have easily lost his hand in a second, however, the exact opposite occurred.
7. Liking It
Instead of backing away or getting aggressive towards Jim, the sharks actually seemed to like the pets. They swam closer to him as if indicating for him to continue touching them. It was quite an unexpected reaction!
6. A Privilege
“You can see the Tiger Sharks come back repeatedly to get this affection over and over and over again,” Jim explained. “It’s a real privilege to be with these beautiful creatures.”
5. Similar To Dogs
Jim has even made an interesting comparison between sharks and dogs. He has stated that sharks are like dogs and actually enjoy being pet. It’s one of the most insightful discoveries yet!
4. Still Dangerous
Even though Jim has managed to create a close bond with the sharks, he still has fallen prey to some dangerous situations. He has been bitten by a lemon shark before and it caused a wound. However, that didn’t stop him from his passion!
3. Still Diving
Once the bite mark was healed, Jim got himself right back into the water. He refused to let anything get in the way of helping out his underwater friends. Jim is happy to be able to change the way humans view sharks and the way we interact with them.
“I wish there was some way that I could get the world to see what these beautiful creatures are really like,” he explained, “so we could end the needless slaughter and keep our oceans healthy, not only for them but for our own existence on the planet.”
It is amazing to watch Jim interact with an underwater creature that many of avoid and fear. It is truly unbelievable just how strong of a bond he has been able to create with them.