On 1 December, a shark was spotted off Middles Beach in Puerto Rico and it was just inches away from a surfer.
In a video released by CBS News, the surfer actually spots the shark swimming in the water first and starts paddling away as fast as possible.
Judging by the size of its fin, it could have very well been a hammerhead shark. But despite the fact that the two creatures were literally inches apart, the underwater beast did not even try to attack him—hence the man managed to slip away unharmed.
While some netizens were shocked that the shark left the human alone, others were not surprised. One person tweeted:
You mean the surfer approached the shark in its natural habitat, doing normal shark things. And he was kind enough to do nothing, as usual.
A study by researchers at the University of Florida recently confirmed what scientists have known for years—sharks do not purposely attack humans. There are about 60 reported shark attacks worldwide every year, and most of them happen to be cases of mistaken identity. According Laura Ryan, lead author of the study, the poor creatures are just unable to distinguish between surfers or swimmers, and their usual prey. She explained:
From the perspective of a white shark, neither movement nor shape allows for an unambiguous visual distinction between pinnipeds [of the sea lion family] and humans.