Tougher than the rest.
There are not many occasions, as surfers, to feel sympathy for our Great White Shark neighbors, the selfsame that nibble our feets and cause us to hop on metaphorical sleds and reset, but there’s a 10-foot li’l nugget, currently swimming off the coast of South Australia, that is so battered, so bruised as to maybe become BeachGrit‘s new mascot.
The amazing footage was captured by underwater cinematographer Dean Spraakman who described the shark as “friendly” but said no one on his team had ever seen a creature in such condition.
“We see sometimes down there the white sharks tracking stingrays because they hunt and eat them and we thought they chase them into shallow reef areas where it’s quite sharp and it might get stuck and cause that sort of damage. You can only speculate what happened there and to be honest no one … ever really knows what causes that sort of damage to a shark, but the poor guy had a bit of a hard time I think. I noticed he had scars on him but I didn’t realise to what length until I reviewed the footage later.”
They wondered if the gouges might have been caused by boat propellers but dismissed the notion and continued to remain befuddled.
National Geographic explorer Professor Yannis Papastamatiou thought some of the wounds might have been from fighting with other sharks saying, “Females are often heavily scarred from mating behaviour but males can get bitten as well during dominance interactions between sharks, eg a larger shark may want a smaller shark and dominate the smaller individual with a non-fatal warning bite.”
Whatever the case, this shark is a working class hero and, you know, some girls, they want a handsome Dan or some good-lookin’ Joe on their arm. Some girls like a sweet-talkin’ Romeo. Well, ’round South Australia, baby, he learned you get what you can get so if you’re rough enough for love, honey, he’s tougher than the rest.