Most of the time, filming moray eels is a pretty mellow experience. But while diving off South Africa’s Sodwana Bay, Earth Touch underwater cameraman Bart Lukasik had a run-in with an eel who was not ready for his close-up.

"It was quite the face-off," Lukasik explains. "I was shooting two large eels under a ledge – not doing anything out of the ordinary, when suddenly, one of them decided to get rid of me."

Sodwana Bay is known for its high density of honeycomb morays (Gymnothorax favagineus), which commonly reach two metres in length. But Bart explains that the fish are almost always very docile. "I've had some amazing encounters with them here," he says. "I was caught completely off guard, and had to make a run for it. Needless to say, I am much more cautious of them now, even when they seem completely ignorant of my presence."

For the full clip, and more marine life from Sodwana Bay, check out "Wild Oceans":

Top header image: Daniel/Flickr