Massive 13-foot shark spotted alarmingly close to Florida beach
We're gonna need a bigger boat.
A massive hammerhead shark was spotted near a popular Florida beach on Tuesday, sparking fear and awe among visitors.
Photos of the shark shared by the Navarre Beach Fire Department show the approximately 13-foot creature swimming just a few feet away from the shore as beachgoers peer at its fin looming just above the surface.
Christina Reinholt, who lives in Navarre, shared footage of the encounter on her Facebook page, showing the large hammerhead swimming through a pool of blood, just after it reportedly attacked and killed a tarpon, a large species of fish known to inhabit the Atlantic Ocean.
"Lifeguards evacuated the water and some beach goers [sic] got the experience of a freaking lifetime," Reinholt wrote.
According to the International Shark Attack File, humans have been subject to just 17 documented attacks by hammerhead sharks in recent history, with no human fatalities attributed to the species.
National Geographic reports that about 50 to 70 confirmed shark attacks occur around the world each year, with about 5 to 15 proving fatal.
Although the numbers have steadily risen over the past several decades, researchers attribute the growing trend to the increasing number of humans flocking to coastal waters rather than to escalating shark aggression.
However, while sharks on average kill fewer than 15 people annually, it is estimated that between 20 and 100 million sharks die each year due to human fishing activity.