Ever since Steven Spielberg’s Jaws came out, many began viewing sharks as one of the few animals that are just pure badass, along with bears, gorillas, and rhinos. Just look at them—total units that strike fear and emanate awesomeness just by being themselves.

Well, sharks just became even more awesome (yes, even more ridiculously awesome than the concept of a tornado full of sharks). One great shark was recently recorded emerging from the water and getting some sweet air—15 feet, to be precise.

Sharks may not be able to fly, but they can get some sick air, and this particular one got a lot of it

Image credits: SharkWeek

So, a great white shark, one of the largest sharks in the world, was seen emerging from the water and launching itself into the air. But this wasn’t an ordinary leap because it managed to get itself 15 feet (4.57 meters) above water.

In context, according to Sharks World, a typical shark will jump up to 8-10 feet (2.4–3 meters) above water. For this reason, seeing a shark soar another 5 feet above this mark makes a record-breaking breach.

Chris Fallows, a great white shark expert, traversed to Seal Island, a tiny island in the False Bay, South Africa as part of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Specifically, the footage was for the show Air Jaws: Ultimate Breach, in which various experts compete to snap the best mid-air pictures of sharks breaching the surface of water.

A great white shark was recorded breaching 15 feet (4.5 meters) above the surface of the water

Image credits: Discovery

The shark breach was photographed and filmed as part of the Discovery Channel’s Air Jaws series

Image credits: Discovery

And Fallows was in luck, as he stumbled upon a great white shark who soon became a record-breaking breacher and is now going viral.

He and his team were out patrolling the waters with some meaty bait tied to their boat to encourage a shark to make its move. After several tries, Fallows found the shark he was looking for. Video footage shows how the shark launches itself from the water, biting on its new-found treat strapped to a rope, and flying (what was estimated to be) 15 feet into the air.

It was said that this particular jump was the highest ever jump made by a shark in the history of Air Jaws. “Whoa! That was unbelievable, do you see that shark!?” exclaimed Fallows as soon as the shark took off.

It is said that the it is the highest jump by a great white recorded in the history if Air Jaws

Image credits: Discovery

This historical moment was captured by Chris Fallows, a great white shark expert

Image credits: Discovery

This spectacular display of a great white shark jumping out of the water is called breaching. They do that during hunting, to stagger and catch fast moving prey, like a seal for instance. It is said that sharks can swim as fast as 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers per hour) whilst swimming near the surface.

What makes this even more spectacular is that breaching is a rare occurrence among sharks because of the fact that it has to use a lot of its energy for it. And here we thought they do that often and that this is the reason why Sharknado, the series of disaster horror comedy science-fiction films, is a thing.

Air Jaws is a series in which experts compete to snap the best mid-air pictures of sharks breaching

Image credits: Discovery

This particular breach also led him to become the winner of 2020 Air Jaws

Image credits: Discovery

For catching this iconic jump, Fallows was named the winner of 2020 Air Jaws. The official Shark Week Twitter account shared the breathtaking photo of the great white shark, upside down mid-air at the moment it’s about to plunge back into the ocean.

Air Jaws is a Discovery Channel series documenting great white sharks. First iterations were released back in 2001–2002, but the show was halted until 2010 when it was relaunched and has been coming out almost every year since.

The show aims to shed light to the issues revolving the survival of the great white shark and serves as material for further study

Image credits: Discovery

Check out this historical (as well as super cool) jump in the video below

Image credits: Discovery

“More than any other Air Jaws we’ve done, this one has a really strong conservation message: We have to do something to protect these great white sharks because they are on the brink of annihilation,” said Air Jaws director Jeff Kurr. “Does Air Jaws have a chance of making a comeback?”

He continued: “The thing with Air Jaws is that we have filmed these white sharks unlike anyone has before, in so many different angles, in super slow motion. Number one is just showing the detail of how they hunt, the strategies that they use, how they approach their prey, what time of day they like to attack.”

What are your thoughts on this? Do you also think sharks are super badass? Let us know in the comments section below!

Here’s how the internet reacted to this record-breaking breach