A remarkable video has been captured of a toothy, grinning shark slowly approaching a scuba diver.
Rayna O'Nan, a trained shark professional from Florida, filmed the looming shark swim towards her bearing a human-like smile that was described as 'evil' by many on social media.
'I would literally die and come back alive if I see a smiling shark swimming towards me,' commented one distressed user.
But the video with the initially 'hungry' looking shark takes a turn when Ms O'Nan reaches out and suddenly rubs the shark, lovingly-named Snooty, on the nose.
Snooty the lemon shark
Snooty is a lemon shark and is somewhat of a local celebrity in Jupiter, Florida, and is so popular she has her very own Instagram account.
Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Ms O'Nan explained Snooty has been around divers for over a decade and "she is not shy". "She often bumps into me for attention," Ms O'Nan said.
The video left some TikTok users comparing Snooty to a cat while others have compared the shark to a cartoon shark named Bruce from the Disney film, Finding Nemo.
The cartoon character battles with his desire to befriend his fellow sea creatures while simultaneously fighting against his primitive instincts and the irony is not lost on social media viewers, with many feeling similarly conflicted towards Snooty.
Lemon sharks are named so because they have a subtle yellow hue to their skin which helps them appear camouflaged against sandy seabeds while feeding.
They are found in various areas in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and are known to swim in the waters around Australia.
Shark attacks in Australia
Although the country continues to contend with several shark attacks every year, lemon sharks are very rarely the culprit.
A Perth man was bitten by a lemon shark in July, 2021 off the Pilbara Coast in Western Australia and suffered significant but non life-threatening injuries. The incident was described as 'rare' as lemon sharks are 'not an aggressive species' despite their large physical presence.
An average adult lemon shark can grow over three metres long yet have never been responsible for a fatal human attack.
"Sharks are not the monsters that movies and the media portray them to be," said Ms O'Nan.
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