A spear fisherman swimming off the coast of South Africa has a very close encounter with a great white shark. He’s gonna need a bigger stick.

Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

Imagine you’re swimming in the ocean and a massive great white shark swims into your field of vision. On second thought, don’t imagine that. I just did and I really scared myself.

Two different people swimming in waters off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, got very close to great white sharks recently and had their waterproof cameras with them at the time. Both uploaded their amazing footage of these massive, scary-looking creatures to their YouTube accounts on Monday.

Melissa Naomi, a travel blogger known as Aussie Blonde Abroad on her YouTube page, definitely had the safer experience. She recorded her footage while swimming in a protective shark cage.

The video opens with some footage showing a great white swimming around her boat and shot from above the water’s surface. Then Naomi jumps into the shark cage as the crew dangles some bait in front of the cage to entice the shark a bit closer to the divers.

Naomi and her fellow divers may be safe and sound in the cage but it’s still frightening to see the toothy grin of a shark suddenly coming right toward you in open water, even in a YouTube video. The shark even rams the cage a couple of times as it tries to lock its teeth around the massive bait chunk.

Johan Potgieter has the scarier of the two videos since he wasn’t in a shark cage. He wrote in the description of his video on his ITZTV YouTube account that the footage comes from a spearfishing trip at one of his favorite diving spots in Arniston, a small seaside settlement located on the Cape South coast.

Potgieter wrote that he and some friends were looking for some “good eating reef fish” and were just testing the water to see if it was “dive-able.” He dove down about 19 meters (62.3 feet), and when he started to level out near the bottom of the water, the shark suddenly swam right in front of him. The shark got so close that the encounter could have “easily been the end of me,” Potgieter wrote.

Potgieter tried to fend off the shark with his spear but that just seemed to anger it since it circled back and tried to take another run at him.

“He seemed not to like my defensive prod too much, sped off, made a sharp turn, dropped his pectoral fins (very aggressive behavior), made a sharp 180-degree turn and came straight for me,” Potgieter wrote in the description for his YouTube video. “At this point the situation turned from a close encounter to life threatening. The shark was clearly now in attack mode.”

Potgieter recorded the whole thing from his head-mounted camera and fortunately made it back to the boat safely.

Sharks aren’t as big of a threat to humans as some movies or news reports might lead you to believe. In June, the Washington Post’s Wonkblog compiled data from all the animal-related fatalities on the US Centers for Disease Control’s Wonder database from 2001 to 2013 and found that sharks, alligators and bears only killed an average of one person per year. Cows had a much higher fatality rate with an average of 20 deaths per year, mostly due to injuries that occurred on cattle farms.

Great, now I’m afraid of cows. Do they make a protective cow cage in case I’m ever forced to visit a dairy farm?

(Via UPI Odd News)

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See divers' amazing footage of great white sharks coming at them