New Zealand Filmmaker Killed
A short swim ended in tragedy Wednesday, and once again the media is feeding off the country’s unflappable fear of sharks. Award-winning short film director Adam Strange was swimming just 200 yards offshore in New Zealand when a shark—estimated to be 12 to 14 feet long—grabbed him. Lifeguards and police hurried to the scene in inflatable rescue boats and shot the shark, which “rolled over and disappeared,” but it was too late to save Strange, according to a police statement. He is survived by a wife and a baby daughter. Shark attacks are rare in New Zealand, with only 48 confirmed cases, just eight of them fatal, since 1852.
Sharks attack three ways: the hit-and-run, the sneak attack, and the bump-and-bite. Hit-and-runs, as you might have guessed, are quick and dirty. They’re also the most common. A shark identifies its prey, takes a bite, and swims away, often realizing that the foot, hand or other human extremity it has bitten off was not its intended prey. Oops.
The sneak attack—similarly quick and unexpected—occurs when it’s feeding time. The shark is stalking its normal hunting waters, and the target is the right size. Sometimes, sadly, that target happens to be a small child instead of the large fish the shark was expecting.
Finally, there’s the bump-and-bite. This approach is both deliberate and dangerous. In this graphic and dramatically-narrated clip, witness a shark bump into a grown man to determine if he is prey-worthy, decide that he is, and chomp off a chunk of his leg.
Fishing for Trouble
Public service announcement: If you’re fishing off the coast of Florida and catch a shark, don’t stick your hand in its mouth to pull out the hook.
Horror at High Sea
It’s a scene right out of a movie: a beautiful blue sky, the crisp open ocean, and friends relaxing and splashing around. Then, out of nowhere, a shark grabs one of the swimmers. She struggles. Her friends try to pull her back on board. The shark won’t let go. She survives, but loses her leg in the process. All captured on home video, this graphic event is extremely rare—you probably have a better chance of starring in the next Jaws movie than you do losing a leg in a shark attack.
Think a cage can protect you from a shark? Think again.
The Summer of the Shark? What About Deadly Coconuts?
As a rash of horrific shark attacks shook America in the summer of 2001—including one on innocent eight-year-old Jesse Arbogast—news outlets proclaimed the time “The Summer of the Shark.” One year later, an intrepid reporter named Stephen Colbert looked back at the media’s hyped coverage for a program called The Daily Show. (You’ve watched enough blood and gore; time to laugh a little.)