Walter Szulc Jr., in the kayak at left, looks back at the dorsal fin of an approaching… (Shelly Negrotti / Associated…)
It's a journalistic no-brainer: People love a good shark story. (Blame it on "Jaws.") But this week's shark news managed to slice through the media clutter with razor-sharp teeth: This shark story came with photographic evidence.
Hair-raising photographic evidence, at that.
A sizable dorsal fin was captured on video slicing through the sparkling blue water Saturday afternoon -- trailing, or perhaps stalking, a kayaker off Nauset Beach on Massachusetts' Cape Cod.
A photo from the video created an online sensation Monday. It likely sent a shiver down the spine of any swimmer, anywhere, who has ever waded off shore and wondered what else lurked nearby.
The image proves that such concerns are not completely misplaced. Shark defenders might argue that the encounter, in which no human suffered harm, helps prove that sharks are not blood-thirsty killers.
In fact, a newly published book, "Global Perspectives on the Biology and Life History of the White Sharks," says there are two reasons that sharks attack: defense and hunger.
But great whites, the authors maintain, seem to hesitate to consume humans: "Over 50% of the divers seized either are released without taking a bite or with a single bite inflicted to the body."
That might be small comfort to the person bitten by those jaws.
Take a look at our shark gallery for more images of the majestic monsters of the deep.
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