A perennial favorite the shark has had a great year in the news. This sadly is very very bad news for the shark indeed. Last winter saw Shark attacks in Hawaii make the news and they have kept coming pretty much all year since. We know the numbers and we are supposedly ration beings, but Sharks are Sharks and they make big news even when they don’t eat anyone at all. I know it is scary as heck, but a busted surf board is just not that big a deal normally, but throw in a shark and WHAM. This is not to say that Sharks do not attack, they do. They bite and when they do you don’t normally just knock back a beer and get on with your day. Sharks even try to eat Sharks. Sharks try to eat the internet. People do die in Shark attacks. The deaths are tragic but our human response is out of scale to the danger and that makes the Shark a possible champion ever year. Congrats Sharks, I hope you don’t get wiped out because humans can’t rationally measure risk.
You know the sharks are making a big play for the Southern Hemisphere Summer of Fear contest when you get a story that says one theory for local shark attacks is Witch Doctor rites on the beach. That is killer Southern Hemisphere Summer of Fear material right there. Other theories, loud beach music, and cursed surfers. Witch Doctor Shark Attacks at Cursed Surfer Beach! This needs to be on Syfy as a movie of the week.
The Summer of Fear season is still going strong on the bottom of the world as sharks make a run for the title. This story is classic Summer of Fear material, check out the picture of the Shark, that is classic red meat. That is no fish, it is a monster! Run for the hills! Wait, this is Australia, the hills are filled with the world’s deadliest spiders! There is nowhere to run!
Ok, this is true Summer of Fear stuff in this article. Pure hysteria with nobody eaten at all. This summer has been all sharks and bears really, sorry cheetahs, but most of the articles have been pretty straight with hysteria coming into play only at the edges of the article. This article which posits that sharks do in fact swim in the ocean so we must stop allowing people in the water is the sort of article that Summer of Fear was meant to celebrate, that it comes from the masters of Fear at the Daily Mail only makes it sweeter. Besides, as David and Hjalti have pointed out, bears get chased off by purple headed hair dressers, and that is just making it much harder to be afraid of them.
So I think we have a winner for the Summer of Fear 2011, congratulations to the Shark, once again the champion of fear in the news. Better luck next year cheetahs, bears, spiders, leopards, hackers, anteaters, tigers and off course, squirrels.
When someone suggests swimming out to recover a boat at night it might be wise to ask if anyone has a raft or small motor boat that could be used if you are swimming in an area infested with tiger sharks. Even with three quarters making it, the odds are still pretty bad. Plus if you lose you are torn apart by tiger sharks, which most people score as a pretty big negative.
Every year the Sharks make a hard run for the Summer Of Fear title, with breathless stories about the latest attacks. Why should 2010 be any different? In an interesting human perseverance note, the first rescuer on the scene had been attacked by a shark himself, but still came on and brought the victim in.