Leaping Thresher Shark Caught on Camera

A feeding thresher shark off the coast of Australia uncorks a series of spectacular jumps

Leaping thresher shark caught on camera

Leaping thresher shark caught on camera

Capturing images of a jumping thresher shark is difficult, but marine researcher Scott Sheehan succeeded, getting several shots of an acrobatic thresher feeding off the coast of Australia.Photo by Scott Sheehan

If you have ever seen a thresher shark leap clear of the water, you'll never forget the sight -- particularly if the fish is on the end of your line. Threshers rocket skyward like missiles, reach mind-blowing heights, appear to suspend momentarily in mid-air, then splash down in a resounding belly-flop. A thresher's leaps are somewhat unpredictable, and so these acrobatics are infrequently caught on camera.

That's what makes this series of shots by marine researcher Scott Sheehan so captivating, particularly to anglers who love to catch threshers. The pictures were published on the website of Sydney, Austraila's The Daily Telegraph newspaper. The fish -- a common thresher -- was estimated at 11 to 12 feet in length. The photos were taken in Jervis Bay on the southeast coast of Australia. Check them out.