In what sounds more like a scene from Jaws than real life, a great white shark bloodied the waters just 25 yards off the coast of Cape Cod on Monday as it attacked a seal, causing complete chaos along the shores.
The shark attack occurred just feet from a group of surfers, leading those on the beach in Orleans, Massachusetts to think a person had been bit.
"I felt like the shark's gonna pull me in from my legs or something," surfer Nisi Schlinger told NECN. "People [were] yelling, 'Get out the water! Get out the water!' I thought I was dead."
Schlinger was in the water alongside his friend Zevi Greenspan. He told NECN it was the first time either one of them had gone surfing.
"I see people running, people screaming and running, and I thought [it was] the eclipse, so I look up at the sky I couldn’t find it," Schlinger told NECN.
"I look on the left and I see my friend Nisi paddling for his life and I see something flubbering in the water with blood all around it. I thought it was a person," Greenspan added.
Another bystander, Pat O'Brien, told The Boston Globe, "I turned to my left, and I could see [the seal] and I could hear it. The seal was making a lot of noise, like it was screaming. I've never seen so much blood in my life."
Senior fisheries biologist Dr. Greg Skomal explained to ABC News that shark sightings are indeed increasing in the area, explaining that “on a relative scale [they] are increasing, in 2014 we counted 80 individuals over the course of the summer and just last summer that went up to about 147. So there is a general increasing trend as more and more sharks recruit to the area."
But while sightings are increasing and attacks on other animals like this are frightening to witness, it’s important to remember that shark attacks on humans are incredibly rare.
The International Shark Attack File found there were just 84 unprovoked attacks around the globe in 2016. As the Florida Museum noted, sand on the beach kills more people than sharks each year. You’re also 75 times more likely to be struck and killed by lightning, 1,000 times more likely to be killed while biking, and twice as likely to be killed by a bear.