Braving huge sand tiger sharks, scuba divers positioned a nativity scene in a water tank in an aquarium in the northwestern Italian coastal city of Cattolica, as part of the run up to Christmas.
The sharks and other fish appeared intrigued by the activity yesterday (NZT), as they swam around the scuba divers in their tank.
In particular Brigitte, a three-metre, 20-year-old female sand tiger shark, appeared to be very attracted by the divers and had to be pushed away with a stick many times.
The divers positioned a two-tile majolica nativity scene portraying the Holy Family, quickly fixing it around a column while the sharks kept circling them.
Several times one of the divers had to push the sharks away with a stick to keep them at bay.
The shark tank in the Cattolica Aquarium houses five big sand tiger sharks, four females and one male, as well as various other species of sharks and fishes in 700,000 litres of salt water.
According to a Cattolica Aquarium press officer, sand tiger sharks are not particularly dangerous, even though they may occasionally attack men since they live in temperate sandy shallow waters near rivers off the coast of South Africa and Australia.