Sharks – so often seen as the enemy of humanity – are having cameras strapped to them in the hope that they'll help humans find previously uncharted areas of the sea.
Scientists in the Bahamas are using Tiger Sharks, which have a reputation for being violent and angry creatures, for the experiment.
Covering an area of around 66,000 square kilometers, it is hoped that the findings will help the boffins from the tiny country to find darker patches of seagrass to help capture carbon.
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According to the report published in Nature Communications, the mission has so far found around 2,250 square kilometers across the Bahamas Banks.
Study lead author Austin Gallagher, who is the chief executive charity Beneath The Waves, said: “This discovery should give us hope for the future of our oceans.
“It demonstrates how everything is connected.
“The sharks led us to the seagrass ecosystem in the Bahamas, which we now know is likely the most significant blue carbon sink on the planet.
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“Putting cameras on animals for science is not necessarily a new thing, but using this approach to map seafloors is a relatively new concept," Dr Gallagher said.
“It is something we are scaling to other areas – I think it is honestly the only way to properly survey the seafloor throughout expansive and remote shallow ocean regions.”
Although the group hasn't detailed how exactly they managed to get the cameras onto the sharks, it appears that nobody managed to lose a finger in the process.
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Alongside the sharks, the scientists have also been using turtles for similar purposes – although not entirely on purpose.
Associate Professor Michael Rasheed, who is head of the Seagrass Ecology Lab at James Cook University explained: “There are some really neat stories of satellite-tagged green turtles turning up in places where people think, 'why would they be out there?'.
“And when people have gone and had a look they've found these magnificent seagrass meadows in the middle of the Indian Ocean.”
“We have, just in the Torres Strait alone, close to 13,000 sq km, and you can add that to the northern Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef seagrass, which tallies about 35,000 sq km, because they all join up – but the Bahamas is certainly a large seagrass system.”
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