A photographer thought a dolphin was breaching the water behind an oblivious surfer during a tournament in California, but what his camera captured was a gigantic Great White he now calls a “Sharknado” moment.
Huge Great White Shark leaps out of the water near surfer during tournament
There’s an old saying: “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.”
And it’s a good thing surfer Tyler Warren had no idea what had just leaped out of the water behind his right shoulder, or it may have affected his concentration in the surfing tournament at San Onofre beach in California.
A photographer captured the chilling moment that serves as a reminder to illustrate that Southern California surfers are far from alone in the waters of the Pacific. They are sharing their playground with the world’s most notorious apex predator, USA Today reported.
The photographer told the Orange County Register he estimated the shark he photographed measured 12 to 14 feet, but a shark expert said he believed it was around nine feet.
Southern California waters a playground for juvenile great white sharks
According to Chris Lowe, who runs the Shark Lab at California State University Long Beach, juvenile great white sharks, which measure to about 11 feet, feed near the surf zone on stingrays and other bottom fishes. They tend to mass-congregate in areas that vary over time. Although Sanofi is currently not one of those areas, juveniles are still spotted sporadically during the summer in the fall.
As part of ongoing research, Lowe and his team have been tagging juvenile white sharks off Southern California.
Photographer captures “Sharknado” moment
If you’ve never heard of Sharknado, it’s a franchise of six films based on a seemingly silly premise of tornadoes filled with sharks that spew the hungry man-eaters out everywhere. Despite how preposterous it sounds, the film franchise has proven to be wildly popular with movie fans, and since spinning off into video games and comics.
And a California photographer managed to capture the moment when the shark was fully airborne out of the water not too far in the distance beyond the right shoulder of surfer Tyler Warren, who is calmly riding a wave unaware of the danger lurking behind him.
Longtime surf photographer Jordan Anast was taking pictures of a surf competition held at San Onofre beach, which is located between Los Angeles and San Diego, when the dramatic shark breach occurred, Yahoo Sports reported.
“I thought, ‘That’s a big dolphin,'” Anast said. “It was a case of being in the right place at the right time. It’s the kind of shot you only ever get once.”
“It doesn’t even look real, it’s like something out of Sharknado,” Anast told the Independent.
“Over the decades I have captured some memorable moments for others, but this is one was for me,” Anast added on Instagram. “My passion has always been to stop time for one second, capture a memory for someone or something that will last forever and show the world my pics through my lens. These shots will always be a part of San Onofre history and that is pretty cool.”