A scuba diver has gone viral online after showing how to escape a potential shark attack – by demonstrating on an actual shark.
Kayleigh Grant is a professional scuba diver and co-founder of Kaimana Ocean Safari tours in Hawaii. Grant – who goes by the username @mermaid.kayleigh on TikTok – has more than one million followers on the app, where she posts videos exploring the deep blue sea and her encounters with its underwater creatures.
In one viral video posted earlier this week, which has since gained more than 2.4m views, Grant shows her friend Andriana confronting a real-life tiger shark. In the clip, Grant gave viewers instructions on what to do when faced with an imminent shark attack.
“Andy is demonstrating why we do not want to splash and swim away from sharks,” she began. “Splashing and swimming away imitates what prey does.”
“When we’re dealing with top predators like sharks we want to also act like a predator,” Grant explained. To do so, swimmers must “not splash” in the water. Instead, they should “turn around”, face the animal, and “maintain eye contact”.
Specifically with tiger sharks, Grant said, “You can place your hand on the top of their head, push down gently, and that will redirect them away from you.”
The scuba diver is seen swimming towards the shark, when she reaches out her hand and places it on top of the shark’s head. As she pushes down on its head, the large animal begins swimming away from the diver while she makes her escape.
“Just like bears & other predators we are taught to maintain eye contact, yell, get large, back away slowly… it’s the same with sharks!” Grant captioned the viral video.
“They are not the man eating monsters the media portrays & typically want nothing to do with humans. So much so that just pushing on their head is enough to deter,” she added.
Although swimming with sharks seemed like a normal activity for these trained professionals, many TikTok users in the comments section said they would not be as calm when faced with the predator.
“I would be terrified,” one person commented.
“No cuz I would be screaming,” wrote someone else.
“I would die of fear,” a third user said, while another person commented: “I’m already panicking seeing this.”
One TikToker jokingly commented: “You know what else works? Staying on the beach.”