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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before