A STUNNING video shows a battered great white shark covered in scars and bite marks after years of battles.
The giant predator was spotted swimming near the Neptune Islands in South Australia, an area known to be home to an estimated 1,000 great whites.
The clip shows the injured shark with marks all over its skin swimming among other small fish.
Underwater cinematographer Dean Spraakman who captured the impressive footage during an expedition in January said despite his injuries the 11ft male was incredibly "friendly."
He claimed that the team could not be certain of what may have caused these marks as no one had come across a shark so badly injured before.
Dean said they initially thought the scars might have been done by boat propellers or perhaps the shark had been caught in the tuna pens in the area but they quickly dismissed both theories.
He said: “No one has ever seen a shark in a condition like this before.
“We see sometimes down there the white sharks tracking stingrays because they hunt and eat them and we thought they chase them into shallow reef areas where it’s quite sharp and it might get stuck and cause that sort of damage.
“You can only speculate what happened there and to be honest no one knows or ever really know what causes that sort of damage to a shark but the poor guy had a bit of a hard time I think.
“I noticed he had scars on him but I didn’t realise to what length until I reviewed the footage later.
“He was very calm and coming close and quite curious which was great.
“He was really friendly, just very calm and wasn’t aggravated from everything he’s been through.
“He came very close, within an arm’s reach from me- sometimes when you get a good shark like that, they just want to come and look you in the eye, just have a really good look at who you are."
However, National Geographic explorer Prof Yannis Papastamatiou says some of the marks might also have been caused by a fight with another shark.
"Females are often heavily scarred from mating behaviour but males can get bitten as well during dominance interactions between sharks e.g. a larger shark may want a smaller shark and dominate the smaller individual with a non-fatal warning bite.
"Some of the scarrings around the face may also be caused by their prey such as seals."
The Neptune Islands are well known as a venue for great white shark tourism.
Great white sharks can reach up to 20 feet long such as Deep Blue the biggest great white ever recorded, weighing in a whopping 2.5 tons.
The gigantic female was last spotted swimming dangerously close to a pair of brave divers in Guadalupe, Mexico.
The coasts of Australia, California, and South Africa are among the most popular great white sharks hotspots but there have been occasions the predators have been spotted in the Mediterranean as well.
It comes as earlier this week the heart-stopping moment a diver is trying to stop a great white shark from breaking the glass of his protective cage was caught on camera.
The incident took place near Guadalupe Island off the west coast of Mexico, where the lucky scuba diver was eventually able to fend off the seven sharks that were circling him.
GREAT WHITE SHARK FACTS
Great White Sharks are usually 4.5m (15ft) in length
They are a blue-grey colour on the top of the bodies
Strong bodies and powerful tails help the marine mammals swim as fast as 35mph
They stay close to the surface of the water, so they can capture their prey more easily
Most of the world’s Great White Sharks live off the coast of South Africa
Their sense of smell is so good that the sharks can detect the scent of blood from three miles away
Great White Sharks have a whopping 230 teeth in their mouth – making just one bite fatal
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