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Image: IBSSG/Screengrab from YouTube. Full video below.

This might be the first time that scientists have been filmed by a shark ... and not the other way around. The shark's-eye-view clip comes from researchers at the Irish Basking Shark Study Group (IBSSG), who fitted several of the harmless giants with tracker cameras (aptly dubbed 'BASKCAMS') last year.

It's hoped that the footage will help us understand more about the movements and behaviour of basking sharks – but when the researchers realised one shark had turned the camera on them, they had to share. "They wouldn't be able to work a pinhole [camera], but credit where credit is due, he (we think) took some great shots," they joked on Twitter.

Menacing as they may appear, basking sharks are actually harmless filter feeders who spend their days slowly munching – or rather, slurping and sieving – plankton near the ocean surface. The species has long been commercially important as a source of food, fins, animal feed and shark liver oil, leading to overexploitation and plummeting populations. Listed as vulnerable by the IUCN (and endangered in the north-east Atlantic), these basking behemoths need all the help they can get. 

Top header image: NOAA/Wikimedia Commons