There’s nothing quite like a giant great white shark breaching the surface while you’re in the ocean to make you want to get out of the water as quickly as possible.
That’s exactly what Drew Palumbo and Ben Slayback did when a great white breached the surface 100 yards from them on Sunset Beach, California. Palumbo actually caught the incident on camera as he had just come off a wave.
“I knew it was a shark and I said, ‘It’s time to go,'” Slayback said. “No playing around; it’s time to go.”
Experts aren’t exactly sure why this shark decided to breach the surface when it did, according to Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach.
“We know that the young ones do it quite a bit,” said Lowe. “People see it quite often in Santa Monica, and they’ve seen it at Seal Beach. Adults do it, but the adults do it for a different reason. They are chasing prey.”
Since juvenile sharks don’t breach for the same reasons, it’s likely that the shark either jumped to dislodge parasites that latched on it.
“One of the thoughts is they might be irritating the sharks,” he continued.
The other possible reason is maybe it was just playing around.