Cancel Spring Break Because Hordes Of Sharks Are Going Wild In Panama Beach

Good news for shark fans but no one else: hundreds of the sharp-toothed fin waggers were seen going ham on a bunch of mullet in the Gulf of Mexico last week. The video above, captured by some terrified tourists who described the frenzy as looking like “boiling water,” shows at least 50 sharks gliding through the water and taking part in an all-you-can-eat fish buffet. And while we’ve been told over and over again that sharks aren’t particularly interested in people, experts warn that when food is involved, you’d better stay the hell out of their way.  “Sharks are not going to say ‘oh look, it’s a man, I better get out of the way,’” a shark biologist told National Geographic. “They’re going to keep after the fish.”

If you’re wondering what you’re looking at above, it’s the way sharks capture their prey. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t just chase after they food, they herd it into the middle of a circle and start biting. Sometimes they even end up on the beach, which is the last place you want to see a shark. Especially if, like the people who caught the video, you’ve got four kids to worry about.

“The sharks keep circling the fish, driving them toward the middle,” Schwartz says about the common feeding behavior. “They can run them right up on the beach. They can do this for quite a while before they’re full.”

The sharks don’t communicate with each other to coordinate the attack, adds Burgess. “Each one is an independent operator, but the mullet run is easy pickens for them, it’s like Thanksgiving dinner.”

Well, that makes sense. Everyone deserves a holiday meal followed by a good old food coma. The only difference is that each one of these sharks is out for themselves, unlike your family at Thanksgiving, which politely pretends it’s okay that you’re taking the last spoonful of mashed potatoes, even though everyone else wants it. Sharks probably don’t tell racist jokes at dinner, either.

It’s a cool thing to see, but knowing that these sharks do this on the regular? Maybe you should just choose to swim in a pool instead when the weather gets warmer.

(Via National Geographic)

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