I love this dog.
I love this dog.
FINALLY! I’ve waited all summer for the Jaws music to begin and now it has.
First, a great white that was breeching the water miscalculated his gymnastics and landed inside a research boat. The researches poured water on its gills to keep the poor beast alive and then finally freed him with the help of a crane. The shark beached himself half an hour later, so they rescued him again, and he finally regained his strength, got oriented, and swam away. He seems like he’s probably a little slow.
In other shark news, a five year old girl was bitten by a shark in North Carolina. There is no word yet on the child’s condition.
I’ve always said that I root for the shark in human vs. shark fights, but I’ve found my exception. Children can’t make a decision for themselves whether to go into the water and they can’t take precautions if they think they see a shark. So in this case, I pray the little girl is okay and I hope they murder that shark.
As my friend Lisa reminded me on Facebook, Shark Week starts next week. Anyone watching it with me?
Well, color me jealous. Anderson Cooper is swimming – without protection (ahem) – with the great whites off Cape Town, South Africa.
The waters off Cape Town, South Africa are home to the world’s largest and most outrageously pee-in-your-pants-ifying sharks in the world. They are not only huge, they leap out of the water to catch their prey in spectacular displays of athleticism. Often the sealions that frequent that area jump out of the water to escape the sharks, and the sharks chase them. Or, get this. This is how freaking vicious these bastards are. They actually toy with their food before they kill it. They flip the sealions up in the air, just for fun. Then the shark waits till the pathetic little creature lands and almost squeaks out an escape, but the shark just lazily opens his massive jaws and chomps.
In short, Cape Town is the superbowl of sharks. And I’m jealous that Anderson Cooper is going to go hang out with them. He can’t love them like I do. It’s just unfair.
Less than a week after a shark attack killed a man, a fisherman accidentally hooked a spinner shark. He compounded his mistake by dragging the shark into deeper water and allowing the shark to swim away. The shark, however, wasn’t taking that shit lying down, so he turned around and bit the guy.
Though no fatalities resulted from the man’s stupidity, I give the shark points for this attack anyway.
But what is going on with the sharks in Florida in February? Intriguing.
Yesterday I was thinking it had been a while since any shark attacks had made the news, and I thought it was time. After a while, you start to get intuitive about these things.
Stephen Howard Schafer, 38, of Stuart was kite surfing south of Stuart Beach about 4:15 p.m. when the sharks attacked him, according to Bureau Chief Doug Killane of Martin County Fire-Rescue and Martin County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Rhonda Irons.
OMG! Plural! SHARKS! Now that’s what I’m talkin about!
A lifeguard through his binoculars spotted the man floating about a quarter-mile offshore in an unguarded stretch of ocean, Irons said. The lifeguard paddled to him on a rescue board, pulled the man away from the sharks and carried him back to shore.
That was a brave lifeguard.
As we know, I always root for the sharks in these altercations. It’s sad – but it’s like if some crazy creature walked into your house, would you shoot him if you had the chance? That would be affirmative. Thus, I don’t blame the sharks. You’re the crazy creature in their house.
I’m curious what kind they were though. Florida… in January? Maybe they’re getting smarter and next thing you know, they’ll be building tools and then crawling up on the beach and picking up our women and taking our jobs!
I have been informed that it is February, not January. We regret the error.
Somewhat befuddled that I am hearing about this from Dealbreaker, I am nevertheless happy as a monkey in a knife fight right now because – yall, seriously – the New York Aquarium is creating two massive, brand-spanking-new tanks for…
I can barely type. I quiver with pleasure.
… for MORE THAN 30 SHARKS!
Ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod. If there is anything I love almost as much an Enron executive under indictment, it’s a SHARK (under indictment).
So my pleasure is obvious.
Gotta give them credit for a headline that looks like it came from The Onion: Possible great white shark attack off Carlsbad no cause for alarm. Oh, okay. Let’s go swimming! But not for thirty minutes after you eat because that could be dangerous.
Reports of a possible attack by a juvenile white shark on a swimmer off Carlsbad have surfaced on the Internet but should not be cause for alarm.
The incident occurred last Tuesday afternoon off Terramar Beach. Bethany Edmund was swimming about 300 feet from shore in the surfing lineup, trying to shoot photos. A large fish jumped, and moments later she felt a sharp pain in her right foot and thought she had kicked the reef.
“About 30 seconds later I felt the same sharp pain and, this time, I began to swim away from the area,” Edmund said in a report posted on the Shark Research Committee website. “About a minute later while I was swimming from the area I was hit on the upper right thigh and propelled about one foot out of the water. This is when I realized what was happening and began to bodysurf toward shore.
“The first wave I caught I felt something in the area of my calf pulling me back and down under water. … I ignored what had just occurred and caught another wave to the beach. This time I felt the same sharp pain in my left calf, but this time I was dragged under water and shaken for 4-5 seconds. During this struggle I accidentally kicked the shark and it released me.”
There was no profuse bleeding, only small puncture wounds. Area beaches were not closed. Ralph Collier of the Shark Research Committee used these bite marks to determine it was a white shark measuring 5 to 6 feet.
It should be pointed out that juvenile white sharks do utilize Southern California waters in the summer, sharing the same environment with thousands of swimmers and surfers. They feed primarily on small fish and rays, and when they get bigger they migrate out of the region and begin preying on seals and sea lions.
Frankly, I’m just happy to see a shark headline, even if the human won this round. I always root for the shark because I’m mean that way. But this summer I’ve been denied lurid tales of bloody shark jaws and instead have heard much about Swine Flu. Not nearly as exciting.
Here sharky sharky sharky….
Despite the promising start at the beginning of summer, 2008 is shaping up to be a crappy year for shark attacks. Add that to the unconscienble delay in the 5th Circuit’s ruling in USA vs. Skilling, and you have a summer that feels like punishment.
I don’t understand what’s up with the sharks. Why are California, Florida, Texas and even Australia and South Africa quiet little tourists traps this season? Have the sharks finally gotten wise that humans taste gross? A scary (and fun) thought: what if the ultra-adaptive 400-million year old Bitey McBiterson has evolved and now doesn’t even bother with beach-side attacks on humans, leaving people like me forlorn and miserable because there’s no blood in the water?
I can’t let myself think that way. I must be positive! Surely by the end of the summer, the slashing dorsal fin will make its presence known.
In the meantime:
Advantage: The Peoples.
Ohmigosh, my friend Tracey put up a post on her blog just for me! I feel so special. And it’s about one of my three obsessions: sharks! How blissed out am I? Tracey took the time to update us about the shark attack in San Diego. Turns out the shark thought the swimmer was competing with it for food and attacked.
Isn’t it interesting how we think we know what a shark is thinking?
And that it seems to make some sort of wild sense to us?
Thank you Tracey for thinking about me and my shark obsession.
It was only a matter of time before the global warming crowd began to agitate for a connection between the weather and the spate of shark attacks last week. The Guardian happily obliges.
‘The one thing that’s affecting shark attacks more than anything else is human activity,’ said Dr George Burgess of Florida University, a shark expert who maintains the database. ‘As the population continues to rise, so does the number of people in the water for recreation. And as long as we have an increase in human hours in the water, we will have an increase in shark bites.’
Dr. Burgess is passionate about sharks; I spoke to him in 2006 after the “Summer of the Shark” when the attacks seemed to occur every weekend. I found him to be entirely credible, but even then he stressed that human factors were primary in shark attacks; he also lamented the fate of skates and other fragile sea life due to over-fishing. So while I agree that we can use his expertise – he’s quoted almost pro forma after a shark attack – his passion gives him a bias that also must be taken into account.
Another contributory factor to the location of shark attacks could be global warming and rising sea temperatures. ‘You’ll find that some species will begin to appear in places they didn’t in the past with some regularity,’ he said.
In March, a slew of reports indicated the oceans were cooling, not warming.
The new Jason oceanographic satellite shows that 2007 was a “cool” La Nina year—but Jason also says something more important is at work: The much larger and more persistent Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has turned into its cool phase, telling us to expect moderately lower global temperatures until 2030 or so.
Like many reports, the headline says one thing and the actual reportage says something quite different.
‘The sharks that inflict the most damage here, the black tips, can be about two or three feet long. There are some bigger ones along our coast, tiger sharks and bull sharks, but there’s a sustainable food supply for them. People are not on the menu for sharks.‘
So where is the proof that global warming has caused even one shark attack, and that there is, in fact, global warming? Or that there is even a “surge”? There isn’t any proof, of course. Sharks act like wild animals, and wild animals are unpredictable, as Dr. Burgess points out:
‘It’s the equivalent of stepping on to the plains of the Serengeti when you step into the water,’ Burgess said. ‘It’s not like a swimming pool. This is a wilderness experience and with it comes a certain amount of risk.
‘What’s needed is some kind of system to prevent people and sharks coming together in a dangerous way.’