We thought this was a pretty obvious rule of thumb, but to be clear: Never kiss a shark on the lips.
Shark Week may help promote understanding and respect for one of the most feared sea creatures, but for some people, it takes a (very) close encounter with a shark to learn the true power of these animals.
This video clip is from several years ago, but is one of the best examples of how even one of the most tolerant shark species can be dangerous under certain circumstances. This certain circumstance being an unwanted kiss.
Up until this video was shot, Florida diver Dave Marcel had an interesting habit when he encountered sharks. According to Animal Planet, he enjoyed flipping them over, then kissing and rubbing their stomachs. But when he decided to get a little friendlier and kiss a nurse shark on the lips, his love went unrequited.
The shark reacted as one might expect from a wild animal, and bit Dave right on the lips. With his lip severely lacerated, Dave was rushed to a Miami hospital, where a cosmetic surgeon was able to fully repair his face.
Although shark attacks are often covered in the news, sharks can actually be very shy creatures, and National Geographic reports that nurse sharks are "for the most part, harmless to humans. However, they can be huge—up to 14 feet (4.3 meters)—and have very strong jaws filled with thousands of tiny, serrated teeth, and will bite defensively if stepped on or bothered by divers who assume they’re docile."
The Pew Environment Group reports that nearly 30 percent of sharks and are at risk of extinction.