A spinner shark in Florida jumped over a surfer and it was caught on video. If you look closely, it appears the shark jumps over the back of the surfboard, and surfer whips his head around to see what just went flying over. (In 2009, a video was recorded in Florida of a spinner shark jumping near a surfer, but not directly over.)
Spinner sharks were named for their spinning motion when they jump out of water. According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, they have never killed a human. The species is listed as Near Threatened due to human activity such as fishing.
These sharks spin as part of their feeding strategy. They swim swiftly up in a vertical position to swallow their prey while they spin. Often their momentum causes them to exit the water. They eat tenpounders, sardines, herring, anchovies, sea catfish, lizardfish, mullets, bluefish, tunas, bonito, croakers, jacks, mojarras, and tongue-sole. The average mature spinner shark is about six feet long and weighs about 120 pounds.
It may have been that the spinner shark was trying to catch some small fish in the same area where surfers were riding waves, meaning the shark had no intention of biting the surfer. As the human population continues to grow and more natural habitat for wild animals is encroached upon, such encounters are likely. Fortunately in this case neither the person, nor the wild animal, was injured or killed.
There are about 375 shark species and less than ten percent of them have been known to attack a human. Even with this small number of attacks, they are often mistakes made by a shark in murky water, or their confusing a surfer with a seal. In 2010 there were only 79 shark attacks on humans worldwide, with six fatalities according to the University of Florida.
Compare that year’s six world shark fatalities to the over 30,000 vehicle-related deaths in the United States for the year before, and you see shark attack deaths overall amount to almost nothing, in relative terms.
Image Credit: stsimonsfishing.com