Video uploaded to YouTube by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy shows the researcher on a boat earlier this week in waters off the US state of Massachusetts.
The researcher stands at a platform at the end of a boat with a GoPro attached to a long pole.
But as he looks around for sharks a great white rises from the water, right underneath the platform with its jaws open before diving back under.
“Holy c**p, it dove right out of the water,” the captain yells.
“Did you see that?” Researcher Greg Skomal yells back.
The Conservancy said while encounters like this one are rare, this video shows that they’re certainly possible.
“White sharks are wild and unpredictable animals,” it said.
“This is a good reminder of the importance of not becoming complacent and always staying vigilant when in or on the water.”
The video has more than 80,000 views with many in awe of the shark.
“Good thing the shark wasn’t a better jumper,” one user wrote.
Another referenced the movie Jaws, writing, “gonna need a bigger boat”.
The conservancy aren’t the only researchers to be left gob-smacked by the wild and potentially dangerous behaviour of sharks.
Last month, researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s Shark Survey were surprised when they caught a 2.6-metre shark only to watch as a 4.4m great white dived out of the water and took a bite out of it.
An Instagram model also learned the hard way about unpredictable shark behaviour.
Katarina Zarutskie was holidaying in the Bahamas, with her boyfriend and his family when she decided to pose for a photo swimming with nurse sharks in the marina only for one of them to latch onto her arm and pull her underwater.
Her injuries were minor but she was left with permanent scarring to her arm.