There’s a reason I stayed in the city for the fourth of July rather than venturing out to a beach: I am absolutely petrified of sharks now. I can’t go on the world wide web without seeing a reporter flailing some child’s arm around after it was chewed up by a great white in shallow waters. It’s only a matter of time until they travel onshore and start feasting on people’s flesh as they’re walking on the boardwalk. I want no part of that world.
So just to add fuel to the panic fire, here’s a video of five sharks tearing apart the remains of a gigantic sperm whale floating off the coast of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. According to Brett Vercoe, the diver and marine photographer who captured the footage, three of the sharks were white pointers around five metres in length and two were tiger sharks around four metres in length.
Via the video’s YouTube summary:
A dead adult Sperm whale washed in from off the Continental shelf and brought with it a host of large predators including three White pointers up to 4.5 metres in length and two Tiger sharks up to 4.2 metres long. I spent 3 hours watching as the sharks leisurely took advantage of this abundant food source. The next morning it washed up on Campbells Beach and was buried precariously close to the waters edge where it will take years to slowly decompose – all the while leaching rotting whale scent into the nearby waters.
I take solace in the fact that this took place thousands of miles from where I call home, but I was interested in the statistics of shark related injuries and deaths in U.S. waters. According to USA Today, from 2005-2014 an average of only one person a year is killed by a shark. This year, only one person in the U.S. has been killed (Hawaii). Many sharks have been spotted swimming very close to shore, and in some instances attacking swimmers, causing media and douchebag bloggers like me to LOSE OUR SHIT in panic. But rest assured fellow Americans, attacks are very few and far between. I’ll chill up by the pool instead, ya know, just in case.