Barracuda are apex predators in the waters of the Caribbean. They are ferocious hunters, designed for speed. With their mouth full of teeth that are as large and sharp as those of a big dog, they can take down almost any prey they chose. They grow to six feet in length and are capable of speeds approaching 30mph for short bursts. When full grown, there is no threat in the ocean except sharks, other barracuda and humans.
Although they are highly skilled hunters, barracuda are also opportunistic feeders and they will follow other large fish in the hope of being able to eat some leftover scraps of another's kill. They will tolerate swimmers or scuba divers and a slow and cautious approach will often create little or no reaction from a full grown barracuda.
This five foot long beast can be seen hovering, not far from a dive boat which it was using as camouflage. The barracuda can change its color to blend in with surroundings for added concealment. Its silvery appearance helped it blend in with the upper surface of the water, making it nearly invisible to fish below. The diver filming this video had no idea that he was about to capture the monster explode toward an unsuspecting parrot fish fifty feet down.
A dark colored fish can be seen below as he moves slowly from one coral head to another. He also does not understand the danger fifty feet above. The barracuda flashes his tail and begins an acceleration that takes him to top speed in only a second. He has full intentions of ambushing his dinner from above and pinning it in the sand. He can crush the 12 inch fish in his jaws and swallow him whole. Miraculously, the parrotfish senses the impending attack and he also accelerates toward the coral head behind. The barracuda changes his angle and tries to intercept. The fish below barely escapes as he reaches cover in the nick of time. The barracuda turns away but he will return to his spot above and resume his hunting. Although this particular parrotfish will live another day, there will be some other fish that becomes a meal. The barracuda will catch a fish more frequently than he misses.
Although barracuda occasionally bite humans in cases of mistaken identity, they do not intentionally attack people.
To be able to witness such behaviour was a rare opportunity, but to have the camera pointed in the proper direction and actually record in this case it was sheer luck.