As many of you know, we're in the deep waters of Shark Week and here at Heavy we couldn't be more excited. Sharks are basically vortexes of underwater death, a swimming, sucking lawnmower of teeth and power. They never stop moving, they're always on the prowl and as such require a massive calorie intake. This massive calorie requirement forces sharks to be constantly on the lookout for their next meal. This behavior sets sharks up for digesting some pretty weird sh*t. We've all heard how sharks are gutted and found to have consumed tires or bike parts or barbies or tin cans. But that's easily explained! We're humans and we generate a lot of trash. We dump a lot of that trash into the ocean. That trash is shiny and attracts sharks attention. Shark eats our random trash. But where's the REAL weird stuff. Where's the gruesome gore? Where's the off-the-wall odd? That's where we come in. We're gonna take a look at some of the oddest things found in the stomachs of these torpedos-with-teeth, so in the spirit of Shark Week, let's take dive in!
Poor Judson Newton. This sailor disappeared off of Jaws Beach back in 2010 (going to "Jaws Beach" was his first mistake, you're a sailor man, have you SEEN the movie?) and wasn't found until a couple of weeks later, inside a shark's gut. The Tiger Shark pictured above was chilling off the coast of the Bahamas when a group of fishermen caught him on their line and began reeling him in. In a desperate attempt to escape, this Tiger Shark went with a classic diversion tactic: puking up a human leg. Too bad these Bahamian fishermen were total professionals and seeing a fellow seaman's leg in the water just strengthened their resolve to catch this shark as payback. As you may guess, the shark got caught, strung up, and split open to reveal the worst Cracker Jack Prize ever: more badly decomposed pieces of what turned out to be Judson Newton.
Faint of heart, look away.
It's just your normal day in Klebang, Malaysia - going to the wet market to buy baby sharks for your legendary shark curry. You bring home the two sharks and start to filet them when you stumble upon a 16th-century Portuguese medallion. That's exactly what happened to Suseela Menon a couple months back. It's unclear how this medallion made it's way from a 16th century Portuguese soldier to a 2012 baby shark, but it has been dated around the 1500s. The medallion served as a kind of divine protection soldiers would wear while out pillaging and raping "lesser" civilizations such as Malaysia. The family saw this medallion as a blessing from the sea, decided not to eat the shark that it came from, and keep the medallion as a treasure.
Recently, a Greenland Shark was autopsied and scientists made an interesting discovery when they opened up the shark's stomach. They found the remains of a polar bear. How can this happen? A polar bear? Do sharks even swim near the same waters? Apparently so. In recent years, sharks have been consuming more and more seal, making their way closer and closer to seal populations in waters shallower than they were previously thought to travel to. But a polar bear is huge! Well, the Greenland Shark can grow up to 20 feet in length so it would make for quite a formidable foe for even a large polar bear.
Now before SyFy makes a B-Movie about it, scientists aren't sure whether the shark killed the bear or if it simply scavenged a dead polar bear carcass. Don't fret though, the news of the Bear-vs-Shark incident has intrigued many a nature documentary maker, so hopefully some video evidence will be caught soon.
A couple weeks ago scientists at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory gutted a huge 950 pound Tiger Shark and were floored by what they pulled out. They had found the bones of a nearly 7 foot long dolphin. This behemoth shark had guzzled down an adult-sized dolphin which is a bit unusual due to the fact that dolphins are usually well-equipped to fend off shark attacks and also travel in packs. Usually a shark will want to exert the least amount of energy to feed, making squid and schools of fish much more likely targets.