If ONLY the Shark Had Grabbed the Human

Okay, okay, I don’t want to see any humans gobbled by Great White Sharks (🤔 hmmm …) BUT the out-of-control tendency of media figures of every stripe—from nightly news anchors to Shark Week research scientists—-to act like hyper 12 year-olds screaming and screeching to add an element of sensationalism and DRAMA to fairly routine sights and events is getting ON MY NERVES.

Who among us has not witnessed large sharks “breaching” as they hunt seals? There are whole TV channels devoted to these events 24/7, 365. It’s thrilling to see, certainly, but even an inveterate devotee of Great Whites (such as I) am not going to leap off the couch and do cartwheels around the living room like some hyperventilating brat who didn’t get slapped upside the head enough as a youth.

Calm down, people. Let the wonders of the natural world inspire silent awe instead of bellowing like a carnival barker or Barnum & Bailey’s ringmaster with a megaphone trying make juggling clowns seem more astounding than they actually are.

Anyhow, this footage of a Great White Shark breaching is worth seeing if you wait until the very end. The shark researcher in the clip “deftly” lowers the viewers’ expectations and builds anticipation by going super-bananas over two relatively humdrum breaches as his boat drags a seal decoy somewhere off the coast of South Africa. Seriously: one shark doesn’t even manage to get its right pectoral fin completely out of the water and the guy acts like he’s about to shit himself uncontrollably due to the unexpected excitement of it all. These are akin to the drunken exaltations of those hoi polloi beholding Super Bowl-winning, field goal kicks. If he were a little girl, his mother would have slipped him a Pamprin and told him to chill the hell out. In short, I’m sick of the impetus to deliberately overhype in our culture.

But the patient are duly rewarded. The third shark to take the rubber-seal bait truly delivers with one of the best breaches I have ever seen. Interestingly enough, the researcher is so stunned by the magnitude of the 15-ft breach that his response is muted compared to the crappier examples that came before. Go figure.

In other words, watch the clip to the end to see some genuinely worthwhile sharky acrobatics and disregard the preliminary theatrics. Great White Sharks ARE magnificent and I didn’t even have to piss my pants in the throes of hysteria to render that statement.


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