Leonardo DiCaprio survives shark attack after getting trapped in diving cage

The daring Wolf of Wall Street star revealed his terrifying encounter during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres

Leonardo DiCaprio’s deepest, darkest and wholly rational fear of sharks was tested to the extreme after he came face-to-face with a great white during a terrifying diving ordeal.

The daring Wolf of Wall Street star was taking part in an underwater expedition in Cape Town, South Africa in 2006 while he was on a break from filming Blood Diamond.

Battle Of The F Bomb: Wolf of Wall Street Breaks Swear Word Record

But far from being the relaxing extracurricular pursuit he’d hoped for, things went horribly awry when he became trapped in a shark cage and subsequently attacked.

"I had a huge fear of sharks, and when I did Blood Diamond in 2006 I actually got stuck in a cage with a great white, which was awesome," he told chat show host Ellen DeGeneres during her show yesterday.

"It was a gigantic great white... They actually said in 30 years this has never happened, but the tuna kind of got stuck on the top of the cage and the great white leapt out and tried to bite it and went into the cage with me.

"Half of its body was in and out, and I flattened down at the bottom, and it was this far away, and it chomped a few times but I survived it."

The actor, 39, whose own Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is dedicated to protecting endangered species of animals and the environment, was initially invited on the trip by a charity devoted to saving sharks. But he admitted he’d be unlikely to go on another such fundraiser again.

"I don't want to do that anymore, but I don't want to discount their work because they're doing great stuff. But it was absolutely terrifying."

Instead, he’s taken to the far less terrifying, but arguably just as dangerous if not more so, charity pursuit of motor racing.

Leonardo DiCaprio Buys Entire Motor Racing Team For Charity

The star recently purchased an entire racing team to compete in the forthcoming Formula E world racing series, which he hopes will help to promote and boost the sales of zero-emission electric cars.

Alejandro Agag, the chief executive of Formula E holdings, told the BBC: "Very few environmental leaders have helped more than [DiCaprio] to spread the message of sustainability around the world.

"Having people like him and Richard Branson – global ambassadors for the environment – is a privilege for our championship and will greatly help us to spread the use of electric cars in cities around the planet."

Renault, Michelin and McLaren are among several major motorsport firms that have invested in Formula E.

In other news, DiCaprio was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Actor for his role as corrupt stockbroker Jordan Belfort in Martin Scorsese's the Wolf of Wall Street.

See the BAFTA nominees in full here and find out who DiCaprio will be up against for Best Actor in the gallery below.

Video: The Wolf of Wall Street trailer

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests