Wednesday, June 14, 2006


This dramatic piece titled
Watson And The Shark (1778)
by John Singleton Copley is reknown for creating the first important figure of a black person (not a stereotype) in an American painting. I love the odd looking shark with the tiny teeth although the projected jaw is anatomically correct. The water off of the coast of Boston is cold, perfect for Great Whites who normally prey on plump sea lions.

The only Canadian shark attack recorded on canvas that I am aware of is this piece by Paul Calle. On a summer morning in 1953 off of the coast of Cape Breton Island two lobstermen were attacked in their dory by a Great White Shark.
John MacLeod survived by hanging on to the splintered wreckage.
John Burns drowned.
The shark swam away after attacking the boat and did not return.

If you are interested in learning about current and historical shark attacks on humans check out the International Shark Attack File

There is a great deal of common sense involved in avoiding such encounters.

Available statistics
verify that aside from a few obvious places to avoid swimming the greatest number of attacks occur where the largest concentrations of humans splashing about (imitating prey items) coincides with the largest supply of sharks ie California, Florida, South Africa and Australia.

have survived for hundreds of millions of years because they are so perfectly adapted to their environment.
Aside from Orcas, other sharks and humans killing them, they patrol the oceans, a few lakes and rivers (Bull sharks in Nicaragua/Zambezi) doing what they do best; swimming, eating and making little sharks.
Now many species are endangered by commercial fishing and pollution, a worldwide conservation effort is required to protect them.

This is a hard sell because of movies like JAWS
that portray them as man eating demons.
Unfortunately this can happen.
I remember reading about Jacques Cousteau's encounter with a huge Great White while diving.
The fish voided it's bowels in shock and fled in the blink of an eye.
On the other hand if you were towed behind a boat near a sea lion colony in certain parts of the world (Farrallon Islands/Spencer Gulf ) the inevitable surprise attack from below would almost be guaranteed.

are often in danger due to their unfortunate resemblence to sea turtles or sea lions from below the surface.
That being said most bites are a sampling and the scrawny legs of a surfer are usually spit out and the shark moves on for fatter and juicier prey.
The sad fact that our fragile taxonomy is so vulnerable that even a minor attack and the loss of blood and drowning are usually the cause of death.

Still what on this Earth could possibly be more terrifying?


  1. Great read. You should write textbooks.

  2. anonymousblogger,
    I don't know whether to laugh or cry? I'll take it as a compliment since I am such a positive guy.
    I notice that you keep 'abreast' of the OILERS fortunes...big game tonight, hope Rachel Hunter shows up.

  3. The places you list where the most attacks occur are also undergoing the newest trend of taking tourists out to view sharks... to attract said sharks blood and meat and the like is dropped into the water... I once saw a show where marine biologist believe that we have conditioned the sharks to associate food with our presence... yeah, they take a bite and let go but they do take a bite more often than not now...

    Loverboy's dream is to swim with great whites... HELL TO THE NO!

  4. I hear of shark attacks all the time here in Aus. Mostly on surfers. It's terrifying! I dun surf but I do go to the beach in Summer and na the sharks dun scare me off...only cos I dun go too far from the shore :):)

    Sharks apparently r put off by urine. So if any of u come too close with a sharky, just leak mate.


  5. Yes, the blatant advertising of the Oilers/Canes' game on the boob tube is quite distracting. Must be the CBC.

    Now on to sharks: my only question is, why do they have to look so cranky all the time?

    I don't think they eat enough yogurt. Or watch the Family Guy.

  6. what could be more terrifying?

    Coming face to face with vicus?

  7. miz bohemia,
    I wouldn't sit in a circle of overweight touristas and watch hyaenas devour a dead gazelle. It is just a matter of time until a terrible discovery is made by the sharks. Wild animals are unpredictable.
    I would watch from inside a cage but my OCD would kick in and I would spend my whole time monitoring that liitle rope holding it to the boat. YIKES!

    Sharks LOVE urine or any scent for that matter. They also love the electrical impulses emitted from your body (as I am sure the men downunda do as well).
    Stay out of murky water near an estuary especially at dawn and dusk. I have noticed that a lot of Aussie victims have been attacked by Bull sharks who can cross over into fresh water. Incredible as it sounds Bull sharks have testosterone levels ten times that of a Bull elephant. No wonder they are so aggressive.

    Sharks are the ultimate ATKINS dieters aren't they. Protein, protein, protein. Oh yeah and anything else that looks like it is worth chomping on..chairs, license plates....

    That would be scary but I'm sure that he is actually quite harmless.
    The US Navy told sailors in WW2, to scare off sharks by blowing bubbles at them..maybe try that if you run into him.

  8. **They also love the electrical impulses emitted from your body (as I am sure the men downunda do as well).

    men downunda make me wanna be a!


  9. keshi,
    oy yeah I hear that they can be a little overbearing and slightly chauvenistic..too bad eh Can't all be bad?.


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