Ramón Bravo

Ramón Bravo (21 October 1925 – 21 February 1998) was a Mexican diver, photographer and underwater filmmaker.

Ramón Bravo
Ramón Bravo in 1960
Ramón Bravo Prieto

(1925-10-21)21 October 1925
Died21 February 1998(1998-02-21) (aged 72)
Children3, Ramón, Ruth & Débora


Bravo was born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila in northern Mexico. Bravo was first known as a famous Mexican swimmer and competed in the 1948 Summer Olympics.[1] However, he soon became involved with diving and underwater photography – gaining him fame in both America and Europe as an oceanographer. Bravo developed a fascination for sharks and devoted a large portion of his life to filming and studying sharks. He is widely known for the discovery, study, and photography of "sleeping sharks"[2] near Isla Mujeres in the Caribbean in the 1970s, where tiger sharks were seen there to be "sleeping" on the ocean floor. Bravo served as Jacques Cousteau's dive guide in the cave of sleeping sharks and reefs surrounding Isla Mujeres.

Also a well-known journalist and writer during the mid-1960s and 1970s, he wrote, among others, the following novels and works:

  • Primero y touch, segundo y muerte (1961)
  • Bajo las aguas del Mar Rojo (1962)
  • Isla Mujeres (1972)
  • Holbox (1974)
  • Tintorera (1975)
  • Buceando entre Tiburones (1975)
  • El cenote de la muerte (1976)
  • El cisne negro (1976)
  • Un tesoro bajo el mar (1977)
  • Carnada (1978)
  • Buceando en el Polo Norte (1979)
  • Un tesoro bajo el mar (1979)
  • Buceando entre las Orcas (1982)
  • La siesta del tiburón (1984)
  • Sirenia (1987)
  • El Chinchorro (not completed, about the protected zone of Mahahual)

One of his novels later became a film called Tintorera (1977) directed by René Cardona Jr. The underwater photography was by Ramón Bravo. He also photographed and directed underwater scenes of the James Bond movie Licence to Kill (1989) starring Timothy Dalton. Although uncredited, Bravo played the zombie that fought the tiger shark underwater in Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2 after René Cardona Jr. stepped down. The shark was fed prior to filming as well as pumped with tranquilizers to keep it placid.[3]


Ramón Bravo died on 21 February 1998 by accident, because of a heart attack caused by an electric shock from his home in Isla Mujeres.[4]


  1. Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Ramón Bravo". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  2. ""Sleeping" sharks". National Geographic. 47 (147): 439. 1975.
  3. "The insane story of Zombi 2's notorious shark fight scene". lwlies.com. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  4. "Remembering Ramon Bravo". aboutislamujeres.blogspot.it. Retrieved 10 August 2016.

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