Face to face with inquisitive blue shark in the Azores archipelago, Portugal

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A diver off the coast of Portugal's archipelago of Azores got up close and personal with a beautiful blue shark.

Hannah Rudd, a marine scientist, captured this footage of the blue shark coming past for a closer look at the divers, on September 29.

She said: "Diving with blue sharks in the open ocean has been at the top of my bucket list for a long time and experiencing these stunning animals in the Azores was a dream come true. Looking into the eyes of these oceanic predators as they check you out is an indescribable feeling - just absolute awe and wonderment. Sharks in general have a bad reputation, but these perfectly designed apex predators are gravely misunderstood. They are rapidly slipping toward extinction too, making experiences like this all the more special".

According to scientist Rudd, the Azores are one of the best places in the world for pelagic shark diving.

"Everyone on the trip was so excited to get in the water with these animals. We all had enormous smiles on our faces after the dive. The blue shark is the most heavily fished shark species in the world so it is always a privilege to spend time with them in their natural habitat", she said.

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