Is this the end?
Great White, Tiger and Bull sharks have haunted surfers, swimmers and other assorted Hawaiians since the dawn of time. Circling in those crystalline depths, stalking, biting, “man-eating.” Terrors all but known terrors. All accounted for.
Well, in this, our current and ongoing “shark apocalypse,” Hawaiians and Haole Blow-ins alike have a new worry featuring a hungry mouth “like a toilet plunger with a blade in it” and a body like a “lazy sausage.”
Yes, in a “historic first” the “man-plunging” cookie cutter shark has attacked humans, latching on and attempting to suck, suck, suck out the vitals.
Too fantastical to believe? Let the well respected science website phys.org guide you into awful truths.
In a historic first, the elusive, foot-long cookiecutter shark was responsible for three of 2019’s attacks. All three bites were on long-distance swimmers training in Hawaii’s Kaiwi Channel at night.
The ISAF’s more-than 6,400 records only contain two other accounts of unprovoked cookiecutter bites on live humans: one in 2009 in Hawaii’s Alenuihaha Channel and one in 2017 in North Queensland, Australia.
The snub-nosed, cigar-shaped shark, often considered a parasite, attaches to its prey with rubbery lips and uses its robust muscles and circular jaw to extract a plug of flesh—”acting like a toilet plunger with a blade in it,” Naylor said. It leaves distinct, craterlike wounds on a wide range of marine life, including tuna, seals, dolphins and even great white sharks, 10 times the cookiecutter’s size.
Not much is known about the cookiecutter shark, Naylor said.
“They’re quite mysterious animals,” he said. “While they’re found all over the world, we don’t know how many of them there are, or how exactly they create this seemingly perfect circle. They can look pretty pathetic, like a lazy sausage, but they can do a lot of damage.”
And here I mistakenly thought that in this new decade, this #metoo world, “pathetic, lazy sausages” that attacked, unprovoked, had been shamed away.
Learn more about our new nightmare here.