Think You're Safe in Shallow Water? Check Out What's Lurking in Wading Distance

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The oceans of the world are home to a countless number of creatures that are mysterious and sometimes frightening.

But one of the water’s inhabitants clearly runs the show and strikes fear into the heart of anything it encounters: the apex predator known as the shark.

No matter how intelligent or strong humans are, once we step foot into an ocean, we’re instantly visitors and strangers to its creatures.

One recent sighting in Navarre Beach, Florida, reminded us just how fearsome and powerful nature can be.

According to WPBF, the Navarre Beach Fire Rescue Department on Tuesday posted photos of what appears to be a massive beast — of the Hammerhead variety — swimming dangerously close to the shore.

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“Approximate 13 foot Hammerhead shark swimming just off our beach today!,” the caption read.

The photos clearly show the shark’s fin sticking out the water as it trolled the beach, likely in search of a snack. The scene truly looked like something out of “Jaws.”

According to IMDB, “Jaws 2” was partially filmed in Navarre Beach.

The fire department later posted an impressive video of the shark sighting. Blood can be seen around the creature.

While this shark didn’t attack any humans at the popular shore location, such incidents are inevitable each summer as tourists flock to beaches.

According to the Los Angeles Times, on Wednesday a trio of sharks attacked and killed a young college student while she was snorkeling off the coast of The Bahamas. Her parents spotted the sharks and tried yelling to warn her, but she didn’t hear them.

We have to assume that once we jump into the ocean that there’s a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time while sharks are feeding.

Have you ever seen a shark while at a beach?
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It’s really easy to blame the shark in cases that involve attacks on humans, but it’s not that simple.

According to the Florida Museum, over the past five years there have been an average of 83 shark attacks per year — and of those attacks, an average of six deaths per year as a result. Interestingly enough, it also reported that 60 percent of those attacks happened in the United States.

They explained that a slight increase in recent shark attacks can be attributed to an increasing population that spends more time around the water.

“While we don’t put too much emphasis on year-to-year changes, a slight increase is expected as beach tourism and water sports gain in popularity,” Lindsay French, Florida Museum of Natural History manager, said.

If you do plan on swimming in the ocean anytime, make sure you’re aware of your surroundings.

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Ryan Ledendecker is a freelance journalist and writer. He began reporting news and writing commentary during the 2014 Ferguson riots. Prior to that, he worked as a web editor and columnist for an award-winning local newspaper.
Ryan Ledendecker plunged headfirst into news reporting and political commentary while on the ground during the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. He later wrote extensively on Donald Trump's presidential campaign and election.

When he's not writing, Ryan spends time improving his barbecue skills. He has his own brand of BBQ rub and is a trophy winner in the world of competitive BBQ.
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