We've been amazed by more than a few blacktip-shark encounters this year, but when a shiver of these streamlined predators embarked on a hunt in the waters off Florida recently, the scene from above was spectacular enough to wow even a seasoned aerial photographer. 

After hearing that several dozen sharks had gathered to feed off a local Florida beach, YouTuber and fisherman Joshua "BlacktipH" Jorgensen hit the scene with his drone. It didn't take him long to figure out what was going on: a school of exceptionally large bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) had moved into the area.

"When I found the school there were only a few dozen sharks," he writes in the video description. "Every minute, more and more sharks showed up, until eventually there were hundreds ambushing the bluefish." Several dolphins even joined the feeding frenzy for a chance at the sizeable meal. 

Blacktips aren't among the fastest shark species, but the energetic predators can still outpace adult bluefish, which are known to be both strong and aggressive.

You'll notice that several of the sharks in Jorgensen's footage leap from the water during the feeding event. Blacktips are thought to perform these high-powered aerial displays for a number of reasons, such as to dislodge pesky "sharksuckers" or remora fish. But because the corkscrew launches are also seen during hunts, some scientists believe the manoeuvre can be used to strike and stun prey near the surface.

Others, however, suspect the breaching behaviour is unintentional: the momentum a shark builds during a speedy charge simply propels it out of the water.

So how fast can these sharks "fly"? It's tricky to pin down their speed precisely, but by analysing slow-motion footage of blacktip breaches, University of Zurich shark researcher Juerg M Brunnschweiler was able to calculate that some individuals exit the water at an impressive 6.3 metres per second (about 14mph).

For Jorgensen, this speedy bluefish-hunting spectacle ranks among greatest moments he's experienced while filming with his drone. 

"The bluefish broke formation and fled from the ravenous sharks as fast as possible," he recalls. 

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Top header image: BlacktipH/screengrab from YouTube