Photographer Trevor Frost and filmmaker Melissa Lesh spent a month in Australia trying to get the heaviest reptile on Earth to eat them, or more specifically eat their equipment. Above, in an exclusive video from National Geographic, through their efforts we get to see what it’s like to be a saltwater crocodile’s prey — a “dinner’s-eye view.”
During their expedition, Frost and Lesh used several GoPro cameras attached to remote-controlled toy boats outfitted with Styrofoam as bait, and then lured the giant creatures from shore with the bait’s movements toward the center of rivers. Apparently, even a camera rig is appetizing to these animals also known to attack the outboard motors of passing boats.
Nine attacks in total were recorded by the duo; no cameras were lost. Looking at the footage, Frost and Lesh found that the skull-crushing, 3,000 to 5,000 pounds per square inch bite is only half of a croc attack. The other is holding the prey underwater to drown it. The crocs made sure even the cameras were sufficiently water-logged before releasing them.
The saltwater crocodiles can grow up to around 17-feet (5 meters) long, and weigh over 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). The largest confirmed croc was over 20-feet (6 meters) long and weighed as much as a small car. But for their enormous size, the footage from Frost and Lesh shows that saltwater croc strikes are still like lightning. That’s why the team decided to use remote-controlled cameras.
“Even something as simple as a tripod being up on the boat can be dangerous when you’re doing this kind of work,” Frost told National Geographic. “I’m always thinking about every little thing that could go wrong to make sure that I stay safe and that I keep my team safe as well … So far I’m still alive, and I’ve got all my fingers and toes.”
IMAGES: National Geographic