Time for a Checkup: Diver Appears to Give Shark an Underwater Dental Exam

A brave diver recently took to the water in the Bahamas and appeared to give a 14-foot-long, 1,500-pound shark a dental exam.

Texas native Eli Martinez, 47, dove into the waters off Tiger Beach last month and brought a team with him as he met his old friend, Jenn, a shark who inhabits the area.

In video provided by Caters, Martinez, a wildlife photographer and guide, was on the sea floor with a crate and remained calm as Jenn approached him. When she arrived, he opened her massive mouth and looked inside at her razor sharp teeth like a dentist would during an exam.

“Jenn is one of the biggest sharks at Tiger Beach,” Martinez told Caters News. “This was our annual dive, so she is used to us now, and the reason our work seems safe and easy is because we give these sharks the respect they deserve. It is always a privilege to get this close to her and the other sharks.”

Martinez does the particular dive to educate other deep sea enthusiasts about how sharks need to be cared for and protected. 

“Sharks are in serious trouble, due to demand for meat, oil, cartilage, teeth and skin. The high demand for fins has caused global shark populations to decline, and in some areas, collapse,” he said. “Films such as Jaws have caused the public to needlessly fear sharks.

“It makes it hard for the public to support conservation efforts, because many people still believe that the only good shark is a dead shark.”

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