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Fisherman's simple sunglasses trick reveals hidden underwater danger

A short video reveals how wearing polarised lenses could help you spot a large alligator or crocodile at the bottom of a canal.

Footage of a fisherman’s simple trick has revealed how wearing the right sunglasses could actually save your life. Because it was shot in Florida the video features an alligator, but one of Australia’s leading crocodile experts believes the idea is also relevant Down Under.

At the beginning of Russ Kent’s video, we see the still waters of a muddy canal. He says “this is why polarised glasses are a must” and puts his lenses over his camera. It’s only then that we see a large alligator chilling at the bottom.

Russ told Yahoo News he’s been overwhelmed by the response to his video. Since he uploaded it to his TikTok account on Thursday, it’s amassed over two million views and Fuse Lenses has even reached out to him offering a sponsorship deal.

A canal with an alligator hidden at the bottom.
Can you spot the alligator at the bottom of the canal? Scroll down below to see how a polarised lens changes what we see. Source: Russ Kent

His sunglasses trick is such a revelation, dozens of people have questioned whether it was real. "Is this legit?" one person asked. "I was today years old when I found out the purpose of polarised glasses," another quipped

Simple message behind polarised sunglasses video

But for 35-year-old Russ the reason for making the video wasn't about attention — it's all about keeping people safe, particularly visitors to tropical regions. Working at a local aerospace company’s launch site, he often goes for a wander on his lunch break to look at the snook, tilapia and sea bass swimming in the nearby canals. Unlike tourists, he also knows there’s usually an alligator hiding somewhere too.

On Monday (local time), Russ confirmed the alligator was still around, and he shared another version of the video with Yahoo, showing the large reptile hanging out. You can watch the video at the end of this article.

“Those alligators are very elusive. You can walk past them and you’d never see them. I wanted people to see the difference between having polarised glasses and not having them,” he said.

“You could not see the alligator without the glasses. As soon as I put them on and saw it I thought these glasses could save somebody from getting their dog injured, or even themselves.”

How wearing polarised sunglasses could save you from a crocodile attack

There’s no doubt the heavily tattooed and outspoken Tommy Hayes is Australia’s most colourful crocodile expert. Like Russ, he’s an avid fisherman, and he never goes without his polarised sunglasses.

“I wear them everywhere I go just because they’re cool. You can see fish way better. When you look at the water, it takes that shine off and you can literally see straight to the bottom,” he said. “Polarised sunnies, of course they can make a massive difference. Potentially they are a very simple safety measure.”

Russ Kent (left) holding a shark. And Tommy Hayes (right) by a river bank.
Russ Kent (left) in Florida and Tommy Hayes (right) in Australia both recommend wearing polarised sunglasses. Source: Russ Kent/Crocodile Beers

Although wearing polarised sunglasses could help you see a crocodile Tommy wants to make it clear visitors to Australia’s tropical regions need to take added precautions.

“They’re good to have in your arsenal. But you can't go well. I've got my polarised sunglasses so now I can walk my Cavoodle three feet from the water's edge. You still don't push your luck,” he said. “You’ve still got to be Crocwise. Otherwise a crocodile could absolutely grab you.”

Even though you can see into the water, it doesn’t mean you’re going to see a predator lying in wait, because human perception is flawed.

“You're still dealing with an ambush predator that’s been around for millions of years. If a crocodile is stalking you, you’re not going to get a photo, you’re not going to see it.”

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