White Sharks Outside the Cage

White Sharks Outside the Cage

2001, Nature  -   11 Comments
Ratings: 8.21/10 from 73 users.

The darkest depths of the sea hold a secret. Shrouded in mystery and fear, beyond the protection of the cage lurks a leviathan, rarely seen and studied only at great peril. Scientists struggle to unravel its secrets but most of the time it has remained beyond their reach. To reveal the truth behind this master of the sea will require unconventional research and an unconventional researcher - someone willing to venture beyond the limits of conventional science, to meet white sharks outside the cage.

Cold currents from the deep South Atlantic surge towards the coast of South Africa carrying nutrient-rich-water that supports a profusion of marine life. A small island to the south, the Dyer Island, is the home of one of the largest Cape fur seal colonies in the world. Attracted by the rich waters these seals live and breed on the windswept island supporting in turn the largest populations of great white sharks in the world. The green channel that runs between the islands is their hunting ground. It is known as Shark Alley.

Scientists flock to this white shark headquarters but there is one researcher who stands out from the rest. In his quest to uncover the secret world of these primal predators he challenges the Hollywood image of sharks as merciless killers. His name is Mark Marks. Mark is on a mission to use his scientific skills, both conventional and unconventional, to reveal the true nature of the white shark.

Marks his research in the traditional way, observing what he could from the safety of a shark cage and a small boat. However he soon became frustrated with being able to see only small fraction of the white shark's behavior in the murky water. He knew that he would have to get closer to his subjects... much closer. He recalled an early encounter with white sharks. He was still at school and had gone diving with some friends off the coast of California.

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3 years ago

Though I wanted to add that Mark Marks is a truly amazing guy whose life was destroyed because even though he was not injured throughout his interactions with Great White sharks, his wife was tragically killed when the commuter airliner she was piloting lost power and crashed into the Pacific Ocean not for from the San Juan Islands in Washington state.

3 years ago

Maybe the lack of production quality comes from the producer defaulting on contracts. They kept an extra $40k for themselves and left the entire post-production crew unpaid ... didn't even reimburse expenses, just decided to keep the money.

3 years ago

A wonderful documentary with accurate facts, wonderful filming ability, clear and concise narration, and the efforts to respect, learn, and love nature and this magnificent creature. This man (still alive) clearly loves his job and the life he studies. He is brave and careful and very knowledgeable.

7 years ago

Actually, most bored with @Guest [4th down], sounds like and could be one of the whining "shark scientists" who feel overshadowed by Mark and his ego has flared. Was Pavlov's dogs science? Or Jane Goodall's study of Apes? Or is raising baby sharks in captivity who will be unlike wild raised sharks? For one egotistical twit "scientist" to call another one without merit, who is crazy enough to be willing to risk it all to learn more clues as to how they might react to certain stimuli (which could reduce shark attacks) is cry baby ridiculous.

What if Mark gets chewed up? Like others, I'm surprised it hasn't happened already but that is his choice unless he has a family to provide for. If he has kids under 18-21 I'd be condemning him; but I don't have that info.

Now, if the actual goal is to study them in their natural environment, it would seem a multi camera fake shark looking (water drone) that can swim very similar and quiet would be the way to go, at least for me.

However, to claim these aren't the man eating creatures they are made out to be is also a bit much when one can watch on another video (on a competing website) containing a clip of students on a research vessel off the coast of Argentina finding a nice spot to take a swim break. One of the gals a short distance from the small ship screams, lots of red in the water, missing her leg half way to her hip from her knee. Triangle fin, yelling, screaming, students swimming for the small ship, etc. much the same as in any contrived movie, except without the silly music. Did that shark mistake the gal's moving leg for kitchen scraps tossed overboard by the many ships plying the ocean? Hardly with their eyesight and nose. It was simply hungry and whatever is handy will do nicely. Just like the photos of the tennis shoe and lower leg bone and coat left overs of a hiker who hiked in front of a grizzly bear's hibernation cave in Alaska when it was time to crawl out and hungry. Ever been on a long road trip? One gets less particular the more hungry you get.

It seems the vote buying political solution is give all the sharks amnesty and free snack bags so they are not as hungry when nearing people populated waters and tell people their risk is statistically low, unless you are the unlucky several. Or we could study them to death while they end up as shark fin soup. Or we could do things like Mark is doing. Studying responses to stimuli in order to discover a method to repel them from where ever you don't want them. Now if you were Bill Gates or the others, such as the CFR and bankster elite, free masons, Soros, etc. who want to reduce the population, they would be studying that in reverse for all animals, especially humans. Oh yeah, they are doing that last one already.

Michel Polnicky
7 years ago

This is crazy it takes one bite and your world will never be the same just take a look at what happen to Timothy Treadwell he died from a grizzly attack after spending many summers with them and his girlfriend died with him it was her first time out.
This guy doesn't even wear a proper suit or at least one that can discharge electricity it has been proven that with such a device the shark will leave.
Think it's not illegal...yet

7 years ago

Been diving in S.A b4, but Never with Great Whites. I'm Sooo Fecking Jealous. Keep up the Good Work.

Da Silva
7 years ago

IN most cases in my free diving experience whites are very predictable. One must be attuned to their intentional behavior, that by it self will divulge if you're in tune, with the fish's behavior. It is al about natural behavior! You can almost ride it! With respect!!! got it!!!

9 years ago

Don't waste your time. The producer's shtick is that by leaving the protection of a cage he can "study" the behavior of great white sharks more accurately. But all his "study" entails is third-party footage of the subject and the shark in the same frame. We watch the subject try to provoke the sharks, but they are as bored with him as we are.

Watch the first five minutes and you've seen the whole thing. Complete with laugh-out-loud narration, this bit of tripe won't last long. Not even on the free video sites.

9 years ago

This man is still alive, much to my surprise.
This was an interesting doc and certainly kept my attention.
I couldn't believe my eyes when Mark would follow the sharks around with his scooter or flash that gape board at them, to get a reaction!
I'm glad there's researchers like him that are helping to protect sharks but I don't know how he's avoided injury thus far.
You couldn't even get a scaredy chicken like me into a cage or onto a nearby boat!

9 years ago

I tend to judge my "experts" on who is wearing the coolest shirt. The dude at 31:00 wins by a long pointed nose!