You Were on the Indianapolis?
The story: Remember that long story Quint tells Hooper and Brody about being shipwrecked by the USS Indianapolis? That wasn't Spielberg making shit up for Jaws. The Indianapolis was a real ship fresh off a mission to deliver components of the first atomic bomb to a naval base in Tinian in July of 1945. Next, it was supposed to meet the USS Idaho in Philippines to prep for an invasion of Japan, but got torpedoed by the Japanese. The ship sank, leaving 900 survivors in the water... with the sharks. The explosion and subsequent blood in the water attracted the predators, who proceeded to feast over four days. By the time the crew was spotted by a Navy plane, only 317 men remained. Granted, many succumbed to dehydration and exposure, but it's considered the "worst shark attack in history."
The most terrifying quote: "Every now and then, like lightning, one would come straight up and take a sailor and take him straight down. One came up and took the sailor next to me. It was just somebody screaming, yelling or getting bit." - Loel Dean Cox, a survivor
Punch Shark, Stitch Self, Collect Beer
The story: We close on a story in which the shark probably should've been scared of his victim. Junior doctor James Grant was spearfishing with friends when a shark (he thinks it was a seven-gill) went for his leg. Rather than freak out like a normal human, Grant started stabbing the thing with his diving knife until it pissed off. Then, he continued to act like a superhuman by stitching up his own leg on shore (with the first-aid kit he keeps for his "pig-hunting dogs") and heading to the bar with his buddies for beer. He eventually went to the hospital, but not until he'd finished his pint. All this begs the question: where the hell is our pig-hunting, spearfishing, shark-stabbing doctor comic book, Marvel?
The most terrifying quote: There really isn't one, because dude is such a G. So we'll offer the funniest one instead. "To be honest it was a bit of an odd reaction. It wasn't really fear or anything, it was just like: 'Fuck it, I've got to try and get this thing off my leg'." - James Grant, fearer of nothing
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Kristin Hunt is a staff writer for Thrillist, and is afraid of sharks, but only in a water situation. Follow her to personal information waltzes at @kristin_hunt.