'Freaking Massive' Great White Shark Circles Kayak in Heart-Stopping Video

A "freaking massive" great white shark has been filmed circling a kayak in a heart-stopping video.

In the video posted to YouTube channel Fisherman's Chronicles, Ilan Toussieh can be seen kayaking in Northern California. A great white shark then begins circling the kayak.

Great white sharks can be found in waters off Northern California, particularly during the warm, summer months. Sharks will often circle objects in the water. Many say this is something they do before attacking their prey. But scientists say they believe this is just the sharks' way of getting a better image of what is in the water. It is more out of curiosity than aggression.

"That's a huge great white shark, oh my god," the man can be heard saying. "That's a huge, huge great white shark. Oh my god, that's the size of my kayak."

The man then begins filming the shark which continues to circle the kayak. He uses a GoPro camera to film the shark in the water.

The man then calls out to another person on the water, warning them of the lurking shark.

"Freaking massive," the man says.

The shark continues to circle the kayak.

"He's circling my kayak," the man says. The video then ends.

Toussieh told Newsweek: "When I spotted the shark, I was initially shocked. The sun had just come out, so the water was still a very dark blue. I was looking at the water when all of a sudden, what looked like a huge grey submarine came under the kayak. I saw its face and eyes, and seeing its white underside, instantly recognized it as a Great White Shark."

Toussieh does not know how large the shark was, but he said it was the size of his kayak. He said he felt intimidated by the shark's size but it seemed calm.

"I realized there was not much I could do about it and just relaxed and enjoyed the ride. This turned out to be one of the most spectacular experiences of my life," he said.

"The shark circled me for over two full minutes, but I suspect it hung around out of my sight a bit longer. I have seen some big great whites out there, but never so close to me, so it was much more difficult to estimate their size. This was certainly the largest one I've had so close to my kayak. I could've literally reached out and touched it, had I wanted to."

Toussieh posted another video on Instagram in which the shark can be seen swimming on one side of the boat before moving to the other.

Great white sharks can grow to an average length of 15 feet, but some grow much larger. Some specimens measure over 20 feet in length and weigh up to 5,000 pounds.

"That's my biggest fear, I panic when seals are that close. When he was doing laps I would have passed out," one YouTube user said in the comments.

Another said: "I don't think I could just film him. phew. he could get more curious at any time. just me maybe, but they are what they are. Stay safe."

Despite their aggressive reputation, great white sharks pose very little danger to humans. They occasionally attack humans, but this happens when they mistake the human for prey.

In recent years, great white shark populations have been increasing off the California coast.

In a 2021 study conducted between 2011 and 2018, a team of researchers identified nearly 300 great white sharks at three sites off the California coast.

A similar study conducted in 2011 found 219 great whites. This suggested that numbers are slowly increasing in the area.

Update 9/7/22 ET 4.40 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include quotes from Ilan Toussieh

Great white shark
A stock photo shows a great white shark underwater. A man in a kayak spotted one circling his kayak. Alessandro De Maddalena/Getty