Photos show sharks swimming gracefully giant tunnels fish

With their razor sharp teeth and menacing features, they are widely considered the monsters of the deep. 

But a beautiful set of underwater images show a very different side to sharks as more graceful creatures.

They show sand tiger sharks gliding majestically through a 'tunnel' of tiny fish, packed tightly together in a spherical formation known as a 'bait ball'. 

Photographer Tanya Houppermans described one of her images - in which a shark swam out of a 'tunnel' and straight towards her - as 'one in a million'. 

Beautiful photos show sand tiger sharks gliding majestically through a 'tunnel' of tiny fish, packed tightly together in a spherical formation known as a 'bait ball'

Beautiful photos show sand tiger sharks gliding majestically through a 'tunnel' of tiny fish, packed tightly together in a spherical formation known as a 'bait ball'

The underwater images taken by photographer Tanya Houppermans show a very different side to sharks as more graceful creatures

The underwater images taken by photographer Tanya Houppermans show a very different side to sharks as more graceful creatures

Tanya of Fredricksburg, Virgina, said that in all her time diving these waters, she has never seen a bait balls that big before

Tanya of Fredricksburg, Virgina, said that in all her time diving these waters, she has never seen a bait balls that big before

Tanya, 44, was able to capture the sharks as they moved between bait balls, seemingly uninterested at what could be a feast.

The shots were taken in the waters of Morehead City, North Carolina, where Tanya has been shooting for eight years.

Tanya of Fredricksburg, Virgina, said that in all her time diving these waters, she has never seen a bait balls that big before.

She said: 'I am always amazed by how incredibly graceful and beautiful sharks are.

'Here is an animal that has been around in one form or another for a few hundred million years, and is so perfectly suited for its environment that you can't help but be awestruck seeing one in the wild.

'They are also so much more intelligent than most people realize. They will look at you and watch you: sometimes their curiosity will

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