Great white shark leaps out of water under research vessel

A researcher was startled when a great white shark jumped out from under the water, right beneath him.

The research trip was taking place off the coast of Cape Code in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Greg Skomal, a state biologist and shark expert was on the pulpit of the small boat with the team from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.

Before he knew it, the shark leaped out of the water, with its jaws wide open, exposing its shark teeth. It all happened right under Skomal's feet.

"It was in hunting mode," he said to the Boston Globe. "It interpreted me, my reflection, my shadow, my image -- whatever it was -- through the water's surface as a potential prey item, and it lunged at me."

The research team posted video of the shark's jump on its Facebook page on Monday, with Skomal yelling, "Did you see that? Did you see that?"

The conservancy wrote on its Facebook page, "While encounters like this one are rare, this video shows that they're certainly possible. White sharks are wild and unpredictable animals. This is a good reminder of the importance of not becoming complacent and always staying vigilant when in or on the water."