As a predator known for its mastery of stealth – an art perfected over millennia in the shadows – the great white shark was uncharacteristically conspicuous in Southern California during the summer of 2017. It was almost as if the sharks thought humanity’s collective fear for them had dwindled, like they felt it was time to chum up some spanking new terror. And well, it worked.
It started gruesomely, when Leeanne Ericson was attacked by a 9-to-11-foot great white while swimming at San Onofre. (Fortunately, Leeanne’s recovery is going smoothly). Then there was a flurry of sightings and incidents, spanning across months and counties in a seemingly endless cycle. For a refresher, here’s some memorable moments:
A shark showed up at Huntington Beach Pier, then snaked a surfing dog (technically before the summer); multiple sharks were seen breaching at Trestles; a police helicopter delivered the most unnerving PSA of all time: “You are paddleboarding next to approximately 15 great white sharks…exit the water in a – umm – calm manner;” Kelly Slater surfed with a shark at Lowers; a surfer in Los Angeles criedshark; Laird Hamilton erupted a feminist firestorm after citing menstruation as a leading cause of shark attacks; and a shark attacked a kayaker in Santa Cruz, prompting a four-day prohibition on surfing.