8 recent shark-related events

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Lotta sharks in the news these days, amirite?

by Brian Clarey

1. Jaws anniversary

This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the film Jaws, largely credited with being first summer blockbuster when it hit theaters in June 1975. I remember that summer we were all afraid to go in the ocean, a phobia that carried on for many of my generation.

2. The North Carolina attacks

Three separate shark attacks took place off the Brunswick Coast of North Carolina in the last week, two of them within hours of each other on Sunday when a 16-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl both lost arms in attacks off Oak Island. A third attack happened a few days earlier when a 13-year-old was bitten off Ocean Isle Beach.

3. Bethany’s baby

In 2003, professional surfer Bethany Hamilton lost her left arm in a shark attack in Hawaii — the incident was recounted in Soul Surfer, her autobiography and the 2011 film based on the book. Earlier this month, Hamilton and her husband Adam Dirks had their first child, Tobias.

4. Shark: The app

In May, the SharkBytes app, which keeps a database of all shark-related attacks worldwide since 1865, added a new GPS function so that you can see how many people have been attacked by sharks wherever you may be.

5. Shark sighting

Shark activity off the coast of Florida on Monday prompted the closing of all the beaches in St. Lucie County. They reopened on Tuesday.

6. The shark high-five

A years-old video of a diver in Mexico leaving his underwater safety cage to give a monstrously enormous great white shark a high-five (or push) on the fin, surfaced last week. The video went viral almost immediately upon being posted.

7. The feeding frenzy

As always, the surge in shark news has inspired a raft of nonsensical media coverage that attempts to capitalize on the action by stitching together anything shark-related they can get their hands on and promoting it as news.

8. The celebrity tie-in

Jenelle Evans, star of the MTV show “Teen Mom 2,” tweeted a bikini pic of herself just hours before her son was at a beach near where the North Carolina attacks occurred, according to US Weekly.