8 Of The Scariest Shark Attack Stories In The History Of The World
*Starts humming Jaws theme tune* Duunnn dunnn... duuuunnnn duun...
Ever since Spielberg brought a giant rubber fish onto the big screen, sharks have become a regular fixture in our nightmares.
While sharks have been around for literally millions of years, it was not until Hollywood made them it's new monster of the week, that we started really fixating on the terrifying prospect of being eaten by one.
In reality, shark attacks are rare. Over the past five years, an average of 4.2 fatal shark attacks have taken place each year world-wide, you're 37 times more likely to die from a coconut than a shark attack every year. Seriously.
That said however, the fact that there are these huge man eating fish in our oceans is obviously a constant subject of morbid fascination. What's important is to separate the myth from the reality, here are the 8 scariest shark attacks that have happened in real life.
1) Barry Wilson
Wilson is remembered in shark attack history, as he was the very first in Californian history to be filled by a shark.
A 17 year old tuba player, he was in around 30 feet of water when a friend saw him start moving strangely from around 10 metres away. The shark apparently throw him out of the water, catching his legs so his entire body was above the water, up to his knees.
The shark then dragged Wilson underwater. His friends came over and managed to drag him away and try and get him back to shore, but his extensive injuries meant that he didn't survive the journey to the beach.
2) Dave Quinlivan
Dave Quinlivan was at the beginning of an hour-and-a-half long ski paddle, when he noticed the dolphins around him getting spooked. Thinking nothing of it he continued on with the paddle.
An hour away from Black Head Beach, Quinlivan suddenly realised his mistake. A great white shark left out of the water and attached itself onto his ankle, pulling him towards it.
"Got it clean" says Quinlivan. "I reckon I was on the ski with him for about 10 seconds at least, because he took another adjustment and got [the leg] right into the corner of its mouth and then he gave me two almighty shakes.
Quinlivan managed to get back on the ski, but knowing that was the wrong decision to make in a shark attack, managed make the life saving decision to then get back into the water and swim away with a sense of control.
His actions worked and the shark stopped its attack, swimming away. Quinvilan then managed to get to the shore with his serious injuries and to a lifeguard.
3) Rodney Fox
"I'm looking through the pink of the water, through my own blood, and taking huge, huge, breaths of air,and through it, I see the head. Getting bigger."
This is the firsthand account of Rodney Fox, a spear fisherman who was bitten on the torso by a shark and dragged into the the water.
As he was dragged 30 feet undertake water, Fox gouged the shark's eyes, kicked its face and bear hugged it. When he needed to breathe he let go and made his way to the surface, that's when he turned and saw the shark's head following him.
Miraculously, instead of taking another bite of Fox, the shark bit into the float. As he was dragged through the water, Fox finally came apart from the float and was quickly rescued by a nearby boat.
Instead of staying on dry ground after his experience, Fox now works with Planet Shark, diving, educating and entertaining.
4) Bethany Hamilton
One of the most famous surfers on the planet and the subject of a Holly wood film, Bethany hamilton's shark attack must be one of the most famous in all of history.
The surfer was riding waves at the age of 13 when a shark came up beside her and bit into her board, taking her whole clean of with it. The bite was so quick and clean that Hamilton reportedly didn't even realise what had happened until the heard her friends screaming and saw the red in the water around her. Quickly rushed to shore, Hamilton was taken to hospital where her injuries were quickly seen to.
While you might think that this kind of event could scar a young girl forever, Hamilton has gone on not only to continue surfing but also to become one of the most successful female surfers of all time. What a badass!
5) Robert Pamperin
Robert Pamperin is one of the most interesting shark attack stories, as he might be the only documented person in history, to be totally devoured by a great white shark.
Pampering was diving for abalone off the coast of San Diego, California in 1959, swimming about 50 feet away from his diving partner when this partner heard his screams.
Turning towards Pamperin, the diving partner saw him being held completely out of the water by gigantic shark he estimated to be more than 22 feet long. The shark then dragged Pampering under the water and into the depths.
Search parties called straight away could only recover Pamperin's inner tube and one swimming fin....
6) Brooke Watson
The painting above depicts a shark attack that happened in 1749 in Havana Harbour in Cuba, to a 14 year old boy called Brook Watson.
The shark attacked twice before Watson was rescued. The first time, the shark removed flesh from below the calf of Watson’s right leg; the second time, it bit off his right foot at the ankle. Watson was rescued by his shipmates, but his leg had to be amputated below the knee.
Watson recuperated in a Cuban hospital and recovered within three months. The portrait was painted thirty years later to capture the event.
7) Rob Howe
Rob Howe was swimming with his daughters off the coast of New Zealand when he became suddenly baffled to find that a school of Dolphins had circled around them.
As they played with the wild dolphins Howe suddenly realised that an unmistakable dark shadows and fin was swimming towards them. The family had nothing to worry about however, as the dolphins stayed and kept a protective circle around them until the shark finally gave up and swam away.
Experts say that Dolphins are known to protect their young from shark attacks regularly, so its likely that they sensed danger for the young family and left into action. Clever animals!
8) Krishna Thompson
One morning when Krishna Thompson and his wife were spending their ten year anniversary in the Bahamas, Thompson decided to go for an early morning swim before his wife awoke.
Swimming not too far away from the shore, he suddenly felt something grab him by the leg, turning he was faced by a great white shark. Turing to face it, he repeatedly punched the shark in the face until it finally let go and allowed him to swim back to shore with his mangled leg. Crawling onto the beach, Thompson managed to get the attention of some people passing by and draw the number of his hotel room in the sand, before passing out.
He was flown to a nearby hospital and while he lost his leg, he pulled through hand kept his life. Amazingly, Thompson now works as a ocean conservationist, educating people about the real facts about sharks so they don't believe the hollywood rumours.