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PHOTOS: This Shark Got Caught in a Fish Tornado

We all know what a "Sharknado" is, but have you ever seen a shark caught in a fish tornado? They're not uncommon, and we have photographic proof.

There have already been five "Sharknado" movies on SyFy since 2013. So, if the network is looking for a topic for a sixth installment, here's a free idea. How about next time there's a shark trapped in a ... fishnado? If that sounds too ridiculous to be true, think again. The fish tornado phenomenon happens all the time under the sea, and sometimes predators get caught up in a quick-swimming school.


Underwater photographer Tanya Houppermans recently snapped some amazing photos of a sand tiger shark caught in a fish tornado.


The stunning pics capture the shark completely surrounded by a bait ball in the North Carolina waters.

Schools of fish will often form these so-called fishnadoes as a defensive measure. So, while you may think it concentrates the shark's food in one easy-to-swim-through bunch, it actually "exposes the least number of fish," according to the National Museum Of Natural History's website. Photographers and videographers have long been mesmerized by this unique ocean activity.


But, it's rare to capture photos from inside the ball.

In the caption of one of her photos on Instagram, Houppermans explained how she got up close and personal to these predators.


"Those of you who have never dived with sand tigers would be amazed at how docile they are. They are extremely tolerant of divers as long as you don't chase them or startle them. If you move slowly, or even remain still, they'll usually come very close."


According to the Telegraph, Houppermans quit her corporate day job to pursue her passion for sharks and the sea full time.


She told the Telegraph, "I hope to capture images that inspire people to care about the ocean and the creatures that live in it."


And, with photos as spectacular as these, the fearless ocean photographer and conservationist is certainly doing just that.


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Illustration by Fabio Manucci

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