It takes extreme courage to cage dive with great white sharks, but to attempt to trick them is basically suicidal.

But amazingly this is what one plucky French inventor did when he made the world's first (and so far only) great white shark submarine.

In 2004, oceanographer Fabien Cousteau was approached to make a new shark documentary and lighted upon a terrifying idea that he claims was inspired by a shark-shaped submarine in a Tintin cartoon.

Speaking to the New York Times at the time he said: "When I thought back on that, I thought it was a really good idea

"I wanted to film these sharks without any of the artificial stimuli.

"Normally, sharks' behaviour is affected by the attempts to observe them, with chumming and shark cages leading to footage of aggressive, open-mouthed sharks that do not represent their natural behaviour."

Fabien set about making his dream a reality and designed a truly frightening submersible he nicknamed Troy.

No attention to detail on Troy was spared even down to his skin which was cut with sand and glass to have the rough texture of shark skin.

Measuring in at 14 feet long and tipping the scales at 1,200 pounds, the fibreglass shark looked truly terrifying and remarkably was piloted from the inside.

Inside the belly of the beast, Cousteau in full diving gear was able to control Troy's movements and glide amongst the ocean's deadliest killers.

And remarkably, they were none the wiser.

After some cagey moments at the start of the dive when the sharks were perturbed by the sight of Troy, they soon acclimatised to his presence.

In line with how sharks behave around each other, the massive great white's stayed roughly 8 meters away from Troy at all times and avoided her if their routes matched up.

Due to the immense size of Troy, it is thought the shark's viewed the submarine as a dominant female, which means they were likely scared of interacting with it.

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While Cousteau was inside Troy he was able to see what was in front of him with a camera which fed live video into a monitor in front of him.

He claims that the footage the team got showed the world for the first time that Great White sharks weren't the remorseless killing machines they've been portrayed as.

However, despite the success of Troy the £200,000 price tag on his creation means he remains the first and only Great White Submarine.

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