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Shark Week Reveals First Look of Swell Shark in ‘Alien Shark: Close Encounters’ Clip (Exclusive Video)

Scientists get up close with leopard-patterned shark

In a new clip from Monday’s episode of “Alien Sharks: Close Encounters,” researchers get an up-close look at the swell shark, the leopard-patterned shark billed as “notoriously bad swimmers.” The special is part of Discovery’s 28th annual Shark Week summer programming block, which began Sunday.

Scientists observe the way the leopard shark’s skin behaves under different light conditions, noting that its bio-fluorescent properties are used both to identify other swell sharks and to camouflage itself against a reef.

“Alien Sharks: Close Encounters” is the third installment in the series, “Alien Sharks.” This year, shark researcher and scientist Paul Clerkin dives into unexplored oceans to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most unusual sharks. Aside from the footage of the swell shark, a 20 foot mega mouth shark is tagged with a pop-up satellite tag and filmed off the eastern coast of Taiwan for the first time.

This year’s Shark Week features with hours of programming than ever. Including an additional weekend of Shark Week programming in August, this year’s event features 19 primetime hours.

“Alien Sharks: Close Encounters” airs July 6 at 10 p.m.

Watch the video.