The shark whisperer: Diver has 'Jaws' eating out of her hands

Ruth Doherty

Amazing new pictures depict a female diver showing off her ability to put sharks into a trance-like state where they rest vertically in her hands.

The shark whisperer: Diver has 'Jaws' eating out of her hands
The shark whisperer: Diver has 'Jaws' eating out of her hands


Cristina Zenato was pictured by photographer Matthew Meier inducing a 10ft Caribbean reef shark in to the 'tonic' state, where rubbing jelly-filled pored around the animal's nose and mouth, known as Lorenzi, incurs a natural state of paralysis.

The pores act as electroreceptors that detect prey in the field around the shark but, when rubbed, they create a sleep-like state.

Cristina, who has worked with sharks for 15 years, uses the technique to educate other divers about sharks, remove parasites from the animals, and sometimes to remove fish hooks that have become embedded in their mouths.

Photographer Meier told the Daily Mail: 'My first time to witness Cristina feeding the sharks was amazing. I expected an adrenaline rush, but the dive was so peaceful and calm.

'It was totally relaxing to watch the sharks swim slow circles around us in hopes of being fed by Cristina. I was in awe and could not keep the smile off my face.'

He added that he hopes his pictures will make the public aware of the 'plight' of sharks trying to survive in today's seas, saying: 'We kill millions of sharks every year, with the majority of those having their fins cut off while still alive and then thrown back into the water to die a slow, agonising death.

'If this were happening to dolphins or something cute and cuddly, the would would be up in arms.'