Shark sightings give Mallee boy jim-jams

FEAR: Bushwhacked poses the question – why is every shark attack always put down to a Great White and not one of the many other shark types floating around?Bushwhacked always felt he’d won one of life’s lotteries, living on the Mighty Murray as a young kid in the 60s,far away from the creepy crawlies that hide in our sea waters, such as the Spotted Wobbegong or the Oceanic Whitelip.
Nanjing Night Net

Inland Australia is a great place to live.

No shark has ever been sighted this side of the Great Dividing Range and for that we are all so very grateful.

Australia has been mesmerised by sharks this past few months and it does seem there’s an increase in shark populations and attacks around our shores.

I always thought that, having been born on the Mighty Murray River up near Mildura, I’d won one of life’s many lotteries.

Thingsin the water give me the jim-jams.

Things that brush gently against your legs, or things which slide darkly through the surf and swells, or that move silently in the dark depths.

I would like a new pair of bathers for every time I rocket propelled myself to shore whensomethingtouched me.

Okay, so it was usually a bit of kelp, or the strap of my own boogie-board, but it could have been a Great White and who wanted to wait for a second opinion?

In the Mighty Murray, the only things which touched your legs were leeches, underwater snags, yabbie nets and empty beer cans.

We used to really like the local municipal baths.

The only underwater scariness there were drifts of used Band-Aids and bright green hair by the end of summer.

In this latest wave (ahem) of sharkiness I am somewhat bemused at how all the local reporters, lifesavers, surfers and bystanders instantly know it was a Great White Shark.

I was watching the latest attack report on TV the other day and remarked to the long suffering Mrs Whacked that it might have been a Great White Sardine for all anyone knew.

Why are they always GWS, and now that’s not Greater West Sydney – but perhaps they could adopt the shark as their emblem?

Did you know there are almost 500 species of sharks, ranging from the 17-centimetre Dwarf Lantern Shark to the Whale Shark, a gentle giant up to 12-metres long?

These, folks, are mere appetisers for some extinct sharks, such as the Megalodons which could reach over 20 metres and weigh more than 100 tonnes.

I saw a graphic showing the size one of these nightmares from the deep compared to a modern human being.

It was about the same ratio as a human being to a dim sim. The comparison possibly is still valid when thinking about more than mere size.

But no, it’s always a Great White, not one of the 490 something other shark species.

I suppose it doesn’t make much of a TV news story: “Man scared witless by a Spotted Wobbegong”, or, “Surfer recovering after brush with a Grey Nurse”.

It is claimed that only four species are known to have chewed humans: the Great White, the Tiger, the Bull and the Oceanic Whitelip.

Even then, I can’t remember any headlines about a man being attacked by an Oceanic Whitelip.

It would have been the headline of the year: “Mick Fanning Gives Whitelip a fat lip.”

And curiously, one authority suggests one way to avoid being attacked is not to splash about and don’t wear jewellery.

See, that was never likely to be an issue for a Mallee kid in the 60s.

– Wayne GregsonThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Comments are closed.