The video was posted by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which said that it was able to capture footage of the events as they unfolded thanks to a remote operated camera in an area that researchers originally thought was a shipwreck.
Instead of a shipwreck, they came across a group of sharks “in what looked to be a feeding frenzy”, devouring the flesh of a 2.5-metre long swordfish. As this was happening, they then saw the giant wreckfish swimming along with a whole shark in its mouth.
NOAA wrote in a blog post that they believe that the school of sharks, which aren’t normally found in groups, must have been drawn to the swordfish carcass “from a distance”.
“Normally we don’t see any deep-sea sharks in a group or aggregation unless there is some nearby patch of food. As relatively small apex predators, they spend a great deal of time searching for prey. When a large food fall occurs, like a 250-plus pound swordfish, the ability to detect and locate the food, and then maximise food intake, is the key to growth and survival.”
Scientists said it would appear as though the wreckfish wasn’t able to feast on the swordfish itself, and that it must have instead decided to get in on the action by eating one of the sharks.
NOAA said large groups of underwater creatures may be drawn to a feast through a variety of means, including perhaps “chemical trails, the vibrations of prey struggling, or the sound of one or more predators”.