In 1975, the world was left shaken by the release of Steven Spielberg’s epic blockbuster, Jaws. The movie, which is widely believed to be one of the greatest of all time, propelled a then relatively unheard of Spielberg into the spotlight whilst simultaneously frightening families away from shores around the globe.
In the immediate aftermath of Jaws, there was barely a soul who’d leave the safety of the sand for a dip in the sea. Suddenly, the number of reported shark sightings spiked, leading to a phenomenon known as the “Jaws effect”, which saw hundreds of fishermen pile into boats to go shark hunting.
But whilst, in the film, sharks are perceived to be bloodthirsty, unpredictable creatures, in reality, they are quite the opposite.
According to conservation groups, sharks are nowhere near as volatile as they are portrayed in Jaws – something which is reflected in the shark attack statistics, which maintains that there are only 16 incidents involving a shark attacking a human each year in the US, with one fatality every two years.
That being said, sharks are still wild animals and thus, they have to be treated with caution – in the same way that you’d approach a big cat or an elephant, for example.
Of course, the playing field isn’t exactly level when it comes to sharks, for they reside in water. Thus, it’s impossible to run away from them – even Michael Phelps would have some difficulty escaping a particularly hostile shark. And, at the end of the day, who can blame a shark for getting irate when a human goes for a dip in their territory?
For example, whilst on a tagging trip, marine biologist, Greg Skomal found himself very up close and personal with a great white shark in the waters surrounding Cape Cod, Massachusetts (ironically, a very short distance from Martha’s Vineyard, where all of the scenes from Jaws were shot).
Watch Skomal’s lucky escape here…
Many are comparing his near miss with a scene from Jaws, with the shark’s impressive leap mirroring that from the iconic film.
Skomal, whilst no doubt terrified by the experience, was able to escape unharmed. However, the horror in his voice is clear evidence that he was left quite shaken by the incident. “Did you see that? Did you see that?” he asks in disbelief.
In true fashion, the internet had plenty to say about the rare encounter. “They’re gonna to need a bigger boat,” wrote one witty user on YouTube, referring to the infamous line from the film, Jaws.
“Good thing that shark wasn’t a better jumper,” writes one user. “Somebody give that guy a new set of shorts…..wow,” types another.
The alarming video was uploaded by the Atlantic White Shark Conservatory, who had this to say about the shocking incident:
“While encounters like this one are rare, this video shows that they’re certainly possible. White sharks are wild and unpredictable animals. This is a good reminder of the importance of not becoming complacent and always staying vigilant when in or on the water.”
Could it be possible that Skomal is considering a career change? No doubt your office job seems quite comfortable now!