TEXAS, USA — Why could recent shark attacks in the U.S. be a case of mistaken identity?
It’s been a scary start to the summer, at least on the east coast.
Several shark attacks have already been reported, mostly off Long Island. None have been fatal, but the attacks have swimmers on edge.
There have also been a number of shark sightings off popular New England beaches, shutting them down for hours at a time.
According to NPR, this is not a case of blood thirsty sharks out to get humans, but a case of mistaken identity.
There is a sand tiger shark nursery off the Long Island coast. While they look gruesome, the sand tiger usually wants nothing to do with humans.
According to the director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, the attacks are probably juvenile sand tiger sharks that were chasing fish and mistakenly biting a human instead.
Adult sharks can do more damage, but are also less likely to mistake swimmers for fish.
While our fear of sharks is a little overblown, there are things you can do to stay safe.
That includes avoiding swimming between dusk and dawn. Also, avoid swimming with an open wound or flashy jewelry. The jewelry looks too much like fish scales.
Also while humans are not on a sharks menu, you probably want to avoid creatures that are. So if you see seals or large schools of fish, it might be time for a swimming break.