The Craziest Shark Stories Since Last Year's Shark Week
Shark Week is almost upon us once again, and fittingly enough, it seems like we can't go a week without seeing some shark-related incident on the news -- bite-related or otherwise.
In the interest of public safety (sharks are dangerous) and entertainment (they're also fascinating), we rounded up the craziest incidents that occurred in the months since Shark Week 2014.
A photographer named John Baily snapped the above photo at Sebastian Inlet State Park, after he allegedly witnessed a large cat jump into the water, grab a shark in its jaws, and drag the slimy sucker onto the shore. Questions were raised regarding the photo's legitimacy, but real or not, it's definitely a frontrunner for the "most Florida thing to happen in nature" award.
Great White sharks are, by their very nature, colossal animals -- so when an aquatic researcher named Mauricio Hoyos Padilla claims to have found footage of the largest Great White ever caught on video, people are gonna sit up and take notice. The shark in question, nicknamed "Deep Blue," measured around 20ft from nose to tail, and was alleged to have been around 50 years old at the time of the recording. Yikes.
Generally speaking, people's fear of shark bites tends to peak when they're swimming in deep, impenetrable water. Not so for 60-year-old Jessen Carsten, whose leg was bitten multiple times on the beach at Marco Island, FL, in water no deeper than your knee.
Carsten received immediate medical attention and survived, although the fact that he didn't pack up and leave Florida raises some questions about his mental faculties.
While enjoying the sun and the surf at Cape Lookout National Seashore, beachgoers bore witness to one of the craziest sights in the animal kingdom: an entire section of shoreline being churned up by hundreds of sharks tearing into a school of blue fish.
Seagulls and other birds joined in on the party, while onlookers cast their fishing lines and managed to snag a few fish for themselves -- without the use of bait.
Getting in the water with sharks is already a scary proposition. Then you realize the cage you're in has massive gaps big enough for a Great White to stick its head head in and say hi, and suddenly nothing makes sense anymore.
That's what happened to Paul Whitaker and his companions when they went for a cage diving excursion in the waters off Guadalupe Island, and while the shark didn't actually bite anyone, it's still scary enough to give anyone's "wetsuit" a whole new meaning.
Giving an animal a name usually turns it from an intimidating and inscrutable beast into a cute, lovable peer. Unless that animal's a giant shark, like the one that caused a ruckus when it was spotted in various spots up and down the eastern seaboard.
Named Mary Lee, the 3,456-pound fish was actually being tracked by a nonprofit organization and eventually got its own Twitter account where folks could follow her progress/bemoan the fact that a shark has more followers than them.
Alright, so if the first video of a Great White shark poking its head through the bars wasn't enough, this should do the trick. After the shark was drawn in by a bait bag, it quickly realized there was live bait ripe for the chewing -- and proceeded to try and gnaw its way through the bars of the diving cage. The bars held fast, but it's safe to say none of the people in that cage will be taking any ocean voyages any time soon.
Of all the parts of a shark's anatomy, the mouth is the one most people'd prefer not to get to know intimately. Of course, most people are not Dave Riggs, an oceanic researcher and shark advocate who shot the insane video above while on location for... you guessed it, a Shark Week special.
Does the video provide a fascinating look at one of the ocean's most amazing creatures? It sure does. Does it make a shark's mouth any less terrifying? Not a chance.
Gianni Jaccoma is a staff writer for Thrillist, and he thinks sharks are compensating for something with all those teeth. Follow him on Twitter @gjaccoma, and send your news tips to email@example.com