Researchers on the coast of Vancouver Island got up close and personal with a shark this month as it swam throughout the waters near their ship. Crews were able to capture one of a kind footage of the shark scratching it's back on a log, making it look like an underwater dog. Researchers are claiming that this kind of activity has never been caught on video before.
The Fisheries and Oceans Canada crew state that they were deploying some gliders while exploring Canada's largest underwater volcano when they spotted the two-meter long male salmon shark slamming himself into a floating log in front of their boat. The shark caught their attention after it was seen repeatedly using the log as a 'scratching stick'.
The crew was able to watch this phenomenon happen five feet away from the bow of the ship, and were able to watch the shark in its natural habitat. The crew states that the shark seemed to be unaffected by the fact that it was so close to their boat.
According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, it looked like the shark continued to aim it's back towards the big clumps of barnacles that were growing on the log. DFO marine ecologist Cherisse Du Press recalls that "it would heave its body out of the water and actually slide it along."
Researchers believe that the reasons for the shark's actions were to attempt to dislodge the parasites that were spotted on the shark's fins.
The barnacle-covered log was believed to be acting as a natural scratching post for the creature that allowed him to rub off his parasites.
As far as members of Fisheries and Oceans Canada are aware, this is the first video footage to ever be captured of a shark using a log as a scratching post.
According to CTV, the crew may catch other footage throughout the next couple of weeks as the crew will continue to explore that area for two full weeks.
The crew will live-stream footage of their adventures as they explore Canada's largest underwater volcano. You can watch the live stream here.