Sharks attack submarine in terrifying Blue Planet II behind the scenes video

A BBC film crew captured the moment a group of sixgill sharks attacked their submersible 700m below the surface

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 30/10/2017 - Programme Name: Blue Planet II - TX: 05/11/2017 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: A bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus) arrives to feed on the carcass of a sperm whale in the Atlantic Ocean. These large sharks have a very slow metabolism, conserving their energy in the desert of the deep sea. Scientists believe they may go for as long as a year without eating. Taken from inside 'Lula', a submersible of the Rebikoff-Niggeler Foundation.  A bluntnose sixgill shark - (C) BBC NHU 2017 - Photographer: Will Ridgeon

Blue Planet II returns this Sunday with more incredible stories from beneath the waves – but when you see the dangers that the BBC film crews had to face in order to capture these amazing moments, you’ll be even more impressed.

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A new behind the scenes video released by the BBC shows the terrifying moment when sharks attack one of the Blue Planet II submersibles.

700 metres below the surface, the crew are filming a group of sixgill sharks as they devour a sperm whale carcass that has sunk to the ocean bottom.

Unfortunately for the crew, the sharks think that the submersible is a rival – and begin to aggressively butt their heads against the sub’s viewing window.

The video below shows the six-metre-long animals repeatedly ramming the submersible; at one point one of the operators says, “The submarine is very strong, but they are so big and strong that I am a little bit afraid.”

Eventually, the sharks return to the whale carcass, seemingly realising that the sub is not a threat.

Before this week’s episode, Blue Planet II producer Orla Doherty revealed to Radio Times that during one dive her submersible sprung a leak – but she carried on filming.

“The water was so cold one of the seals on a pressure gauge wasn’t absolutely sealed, so there was a small leak pooling at the bottom of the sub,” she explained. “It never ripped or ruptured, but it certainly had our hearts beating pretty fast for 20 minutes while we tried to find it and stop it. That was definitely my most ‘exciting’ dive. We were very much at the point of no return, but we fixed the leak and we carried on.”

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Watch the remarkable results of this underwater filming this Sunday at 8pm on BBC1.