Today all evidence of the great white shark of that long-ago summer is gone. The carcass of the fish disappeared shortly after it was displayed in the window of the Home News, and some years later, a scientist spotted its jaw hanging in a window of a Manhattan shop at 86th and Broadway before it disappeared forever. Yet it was the legacy of this young, aberrant, perhaps sickly or injured great white to frame the way people perceive sharks. In 1974, Peter Benchley invoked the 1916 shark as the role model for his fictional white shark in Jaws.

 

Hooper:
Look the situation, is that apparently a Great White shark has staked a claim in the waters off Amity Island. And he's going to continue to feed here as long as there is food in the water.


Brody:
And there's no limit to what he's gonna do! I mean we've already had three incidents, two people killed inside of a week. And it's gonna happen again, it happened before! The Jersey beach!

Hooper:
1916. There were--

Brody:
1916! Five people chewed up on the surf!

Hooper:
In one week!

Brody:
Tell him, tell him about the swimmers!

Hooper:
A shark is attracted to the exact kind of splashing and activity that occurs whenever human beings go in swimming. You cannot avoid it.

Brody:
If you open the beaches on the fourth of July, it's like ringing the dinner bell for Christ's sakes!

 

Copyright © 2001 by Michael Capuzzo. All rights reserved.

 
 
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