In terms of body mass, giant moray eels are the largest of all morays. They can grow up to 9.8 feet in length and weigh 66 pounds. They primarily inhabit tropical waters in the Indo-Pacific region from East Africa to the Hawaiian islands.
Due to their immense size, they can be dangerous and have attacked scuba divers. But, unless provoked, they generally leave people alone. However, other creatures on the reef are less lucky. Not even sharks are safe from these slender, cave-dwelling marine predators.
When a giant moray ambushes a small whitetip reef shark resting on the coral, there is very little the shark can do.
Struggling in the enormous eel’s jaws, the shark can only wish the eel would let go. But that doesn’t happen.
The giant moray maneuvers the small shark into its mouth and swallows it alive, all the way to the shark’s tail. Moray eels have a second set of jaws called pharyngeal jaws that allow them this particular ability. These secondary jaws boast sharp teeth of their own and are efficiently used to restrain struggling prey.
Although the moray eel seems to have vanquished the reef shark, it inexplicably regurgitates the shark and swims away.
Perhaps, the shark was too big for the hungry eel’s stomach, or the eel didn’t quite like the shark’s taste. Regardless of the cause, the shark swims away, alive and well, although it’s probably now suffering from PTSD. Watch the whole incident below.