On Sept. 15, 2021, the photographer Carlos Gauna, who goes by the name The Malibu Artist on social media, posted a striking video. It showed "Lord of the Rings" actor Orlando Bloom paddle-boarding in the ocean when the shape of a shark emerges below.
The video has gone viral, thanks in part to Bloom's fans.
Bloom reposted the video on his own Instagram account, with the comment, "When fear becomes your friend and @themalibuartist captures the moment." As of this writing it's been viewed 178,000 times.
On his post, Gauna said the shark in the video was a "nicely sized juvenile white shark." He also stated that his videos provide an opportunity for the public to get educated about sharks, which aren't really the monsters they have been made out to be in movies:
I've filmed many white shark & human encounters from above. The common characteristic I see in encounters is that both the humans and sharks are rather curious. I'm by no means a shark expert but it is my own curiosity that leads me to film them. I do enjoy the look in people's eyes when I let them know they were next to a great white shark. Usually it's somewhat of a surprised reaction sprinkled with a little bit of fear. But more and more I'm seeing folks happy and asking questions about them. Yes, there have been attacks in the past but if we spent more time showing just how often these sharks co-exist with us, we can start changing the perception of these beautiful creatures. Yes, it's an apex predator, and yes we must be responsible in our interactions with them. But as I've said before, "sharks can be scary, but they are nowhere near as scary as a world without sharks".
We sent Gauna a question asking where the video was filmed and how he filmed it, and will update this story if we receive a response. Gauna is a drone operator and has posted videos on his social media channels that were shot by drone. For example, in October 2020, he posted a video in which his drone warned swimmers that a shark was swimming nearby.
In that video, the swimmers noticed the shark when they looked to see what was under Gauna's drone, and calmly swam back to shore. The shark also turned and headed out to sea. Shark attacks are actually quite rare, but as Gauna pointed out, the animals are sensationalized in the media, even as their populations in the oceans are dangerously dwindling.
"They're so often misunderstood by the general public, and we're so often used to seeing them sensationalized in popular media, when in fact they're just another wild animal," Gauna stated in the video. "They're animals that are very important to the health of our oceans. And they're just beautiful to watch in the water, undisturbed."