Americans spend the 4th of July in a variety of ways but flocking to the sandy beaches of the coasts is a time-honored tradition. In fact, the 4th of July is arguably the #1 most popular beach day of the year.
For folks in Boston and around New England, Cape Cod is one of the most popular destinations with its idyllic beaches and lobster shacks. But methinks that anyone hitting up Cape Cod this weekend should be on high alert for the king of all sharks because a literal metric shit ton of great white sharks (they weigh that much, I promise) have been spotted here in the past two days.
Cape Cod has become a Summer destination for Great White sharks in the Atlantic. They flock to the cool waters in big numbers and this year that journey has coincided with the 4th of July. Between Monday and Tuesday, ELEVEN DIFFERENT GREAT WHITE SHARKS were spotted in Cape Cod according to a report from CBS News.
What’s bringing these sharks to Cape Cod in huge numbers? The answer is pretty obvious: an easy source of food. Seals flock to Cape Cod in the Summer and the sharks follow.
Chatham, Massachusetts — Tourists are heading to Cape Cod for the Fourth of July weekend and waiting close to shore are 11 great white sharks spotted over the last two days. Marine biologist Greg Skomal tagged three of the great whites spotted off Cape Cod.
This wasn’t Skomal’s first close encounter with jaws. Last year, a great white nearly snatched him off his research boat. Social media this year has featured video of sharks terrifyingly close to swimmers in Florida.
Marine biologists think the main reason they’re seeing more sharks off the East Coast is an abundance of food. Since becoming a protected species, the gray seal population off Cape Cod has exploded.
“We think it really is as simple as a larger number of seals, more sharks coming closer to shore to feed on the seals,” Skomal said. (via)
Should you be worried about swimming in Cape Cod if you’re headed there this Summer? Well, probably not, but that’s as long as you follow some general rules of thumb for safe swimming.
Try not to swim at sunrise or sunset when the apex predators tend to be most active and the low light conditions can obscure what they might see in the water. These sharks are looking for seals, not humans, but if they can’t see what’s moving in the water they’ll just assume it’s an easy meal.
If you see a bunch of seals in the water or any seals at all, it’s probably best to get away from them. You don’t want to put yourself smack dab in the middle of a feeding frenzy and get mistaken for a seal. That’s how you lose a leg or worse.
Just generally try and always be aware of your surroundings. If there were fish or seals in the area and life was going on as normal but suddenly something seems out of place then you know what, something probably is out of place and there’s possibly a predator in the area that’s spooked the prey. Don’t be afraid to go in the water, ever, but when you do go swimming just make sure you’re paying attention.
For more on these shark sightings and what the local first responders are doing to ensure safety, you can click here to visit CBS News