Sharks are one of the apex predators of the oceans and seas, evolving over hundreds of millions of years to become an awesome force of destruction that feeds on whatever it pleases. The only reason that a shark exists is to kill prey and breed, which creates more sharks and killing – a biological “sharknado” of death.
The senses of the shark have developed to efficiently seek and destroy its target. They can smell meat outside of the water; they need only one part per million of blood in water to detect the plasma of prey. Sharks, like most fish, feel changes in pressure hundreds of feet away. The heads of sharks contain sophisticated electroreceptors that detect the electromagnetic fields of living organisms. These extraordinary sensory capabilities, combined with powerful, razor-sharp jaws, enable them to locate and execute almost anything in the ocean.
Humans have adapted to become the greatest predators on land, capable of wiping out entire species with a flick of the wrist. When we wade into the ocean, we enter the kingdom of the shark, exposed to their superior underwater predatory skills. Our only advantage are our wits, which allow us to create contraptions that hunt or keep sharks at bay. However, without the helping hand of technology, humans become easy prey for these brutal water beasts.
10. Shark at Lover’s Point
A bunch of beachgoers were enjoying swimming around Lover’s Point on the Pacific coast of California. Barry Wilson, a 17 year-old musician, suddenly began moving rapidly from side to side. Shortly after, a shark emerged from the water, sinking its teeth into Barry while dragging him rapidly under water.
When the young musician reappeared, the water around him was churning with blood as he yelled and screamed. A group of five brave swimmers fought rough currents for about half-an-hour before finally dragging Barry onto the sand. Sadly, Wilson passed away while still in the water, succumbing to massive blood loss that resulted from severe injuries.
9. Attack of the Dino-Shark
In what onlookers described as a shark the size of a dinosaur or a bus, Lloyd Skinner was on holiday in South Africa when he was attacked by this massive beast of an ocean predator. He was wading in neck-deep waters 100 meters off the coast when witnesses described a giant shadow that approached Lloyd twice before lunging. From a distance, the event looked like a “colourful lump” that had a shark’s entire jaw enveloping it, “which turned out to be a person”.
All that remained was Lloyd’s swim goggles and blood. Ian Klopper of the National Sea Rescue Institute said, “We think the shark took everything.”
8. Honeymoon Shark Attack
All shark attacks are sad affairs, but one of the most tragic incidents took place around the Seychelles, a beautiful archipelago with some of the most gorgeous beaches on Earth. This location is a popular destination for honeymooners celebrating their love.
One moment, Ian Redmond was snorkeling peacefully on shallow, idyllic waters, and the next he was screaming desperately for help. People rushed to his aid, bringing him on shore as quickly as possible, but it was too late. A large chunk was bitten out of his thigh, an arm was ripped off and huge punctures riddled his body. His wife, Gemma Redmond, had to be restrained from running to his side to prevent her from witnessing the horrific damage that likely killed him while he was still in the water.
7. Only a Flipper and an Inner Tube Remained
Gerald Lehrer was gathering sea snails around La Jolla Cove with Robert Pamperin, when Gerald heard his friend yelling for help. Incredibly, Pamperin was standing almost upright out of the water, distressed and without his diving mask.
Slowly, Robert descended into churning waters that reddened the further his body sank. Gerald swam to try to help Robert, but by the time he made it, what he saw instead was Robert being dragged to the floor by a great white shark more than 20 feet in length. The United States coast guard found only a single swimming fin and an inner tube after searching the cove for Robert’s body.
6. Pick Up and Drop Off
Swimmers on The Pacific coast of the United States experienced a frightening couple of weeks in 1984, when a series of four shark attacks kicked off with the gory killing of Omar Conger, who was searching for abalone with Chris Rehm.
A great white shark suddenly appeared behind Omar in mid-attack, lifting out of the water to sink his teeth into the diver. Chris witnessed Omar shake violently while being pulled under. A short time passed before the shark surfaced with Omar still in its mouth. As the great white swam towards Chris, he released Omar back to Rehm’s custody. Chris managed to pull Omar back on to the shore with the help of a dive mat, but Omar bled to death in the ocean.
5. Decapitation by Shark
One of the fastest, most brutal and ruthless shark attacks took place in Australia during 1985 as Shirley Ann Durdin hunted for scallops in the waters of Peake Bay. As her family and other witnesses on shore reported, a great white shark about 20 feet in length accelerated into her with jaws wide open, bisecting her body immediately.
Rarely has a shark been witnessed attacking with such ferocity and apparent cruelty. After the shark ate her head and parts of her appendages, emergency personnel arrived just in time to see the shark finish what was left of her body.
4. Brief Silence… Before a Burst of Red
During a fishing expedition in which Cliff Zimmerman and Randall Fry were diving for Abalone, Fry descended into waters about 15 feet deep (a short distance away from Cliff). Zimmerman briefly focused his attention away from his friend when a “whooshing sound” accompanied suddenly shifting waters.
When Fry took longer than usual to surface, Cliff started to become worried for his friend. A big fin then breached the surface and what appeared to be a large shark swam by Zimmerman. After the shark disappeared, the water turned dark red. Cliff swam for his life while Randall’s body was found later with the bite marks of a great white across his torso, without his head attached.
3. The Inspiration for Jaws
About a week before the Matawan Creek incidents, the Jersey shore saw the beginning of the ten days of terror as a bull shark or a great white ended up rampaging through shallow waters during the heat wave of 1916.
The Jersey shore attacks ended up killing a pair of men. Charles Vansant died after a shark removed all the flesh off his thigh during a late night swim, eventually bleeding to death. Five days after Vansant’s death, Charles Bruder was killed by a shark that removed his legs and parts of his torso.
2. No Such Thing As Revenge Against Sharks
In Matawan Creek, New Jersey, a twelve-year-old boy was hunted down and killed by a great white shark, resulting in a posse being formed to take revenge on the predator. A bunch of men scoured the waters in search of the murderous fish.
Despite the decided advantage that the men brought to the battle, the shark managed to kill another person and wound a third, before it was finally killed by the Matawan Creek posse. When they split the great white’s belly open, they made a gruesome discovery: the shark still had 15 pounds of human remains swishing around its insides.
1. The Worst Ever
One would imagine that when the Indianapolis was struck by Japanese torpedoes, sending fire hundreds of feet into the midnight sky while cracking the ship in half, the sailors onboard were already in the midst of the worst day of their lives. Despite the fact that the WWII warship descended in only 12 minutes, 900 out of 1,196 people managed to escape the doomed vessel. Surviving the initial blast would be the beginning of their nightmare.
Attracted to the noise, pressure and scent of blood in the water, a shiver of Oceanic Whitetip sharks, considered the most aggressive among the species, tracked down the survivors and did exactly what sharks are known to do: kill and consume flesh.
For the next four days, the survivors bobbed in the middle of the Pacific as sharks fed liberally on sailors. Those who survived dehydration, heat stroke and injuries quarantined sailors with open wounds and pushed the dead away from the living to satiate the hunger of the beasts. Throughout the hellish ordeal, without warning, the screams of humans eaten alive by sharks rippled across the water, attracting more predators while paralyzing survivors with fear.
Although impossible to verify, estimates suggest the sharks ate up to 150 crewmembers.