News stories about this footage of a shark swimming near humans seem to assume the people are woefully unaware of the tooth-puppy sidling up to them. A man casually starts to wade to shore, apparently unperturbed by the shark. While it's certainly possible he missed the huge shark right in front of him, he could also just know you've got to keep your chill around a shark. Yes, you should get to shore and away from the shark, but try to do it without wriggling around like live bait.
Icthyologist (fishologist) George H. Burgess of the University of Florida Museum of Natural History has a few tips to avoid becoming sea giblets. One of them is "don't splash around like a dumb B-movie victim," which I'm paraphrasing. Apparently, "erratic" movements can attract sharks. I initially read this as, "erotic movements can attract sharks," and I thought, well, yeah, no duh.
Fortunately, the man in the video was moving neither erratically nor erotically, and the shark left him alone. Either he lucked out and didn't notice the shark, or didn't want to become a movie trope and calmly walked to shore instead of splashing around like a coked-up eel. There are a few other fun tips that Burgess suggests to avoid getting tooth-tickled by a shark:
-"Don't enter the water if bleeding." If you're Jason Bourne and you've been shot, suck that blood right back up inside you so as not to announce your presence to sharks.
-"Always swim in a group." If you have absolutely nobody to swim with, at least there won't be a lot of people who have to show up to your funeral when a shark eats you.
-"Don't wear shiny jewelry." Sharks will steal it and take it to a prawn shop (hi, Dad).
-"Don't try to touch a shark if you see one!" The only people qualified to touch a shark are those who have tribal tattoos and a bro to hold their beer.
-"Don't go into waters containing sewage." Sewage attracts small fish which in turn attracts sharks. Also, what's wrong with you? Don't swim in sewage! Maybe this is why you have no friends to swim with!
Anyways, fish doctor Burgess also points out that sharks only kill a small number of people every year, whereas humans are killing nearly 30 million sharks annually. Yay, we're winning (at destroying nature)!
Katie has a Twitter, and firmly believes Street Sharks are superior to Ninja Turtles. Come at me!
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