A marine biologist has been bitten more than 1,000 times by sharks
When it comes to shark attacks, the possibility of survival is always minimal. The deadly predators have enough strength in the jagged jaws to tear a human being into pieces in a matter of seconds.
But in the case of marine biologist Jeremiah Sullivan, shark bites are a routine affair.
Jeremiah Sullivan, who lives in San Diego US, has been the world’s leading chronicler of human-shark interactions since the early 70s.
He bravely spends his days being bitten and chewed by sharks so he can study their behavior and test custom-designed suits he’s developed to protect humans from shark bites.
Its tough work, but someone has got to do it if we’re to understand better how to test shark behavior and to ensure that humans and sharks can co-exist in a peaceful – or at least safer – way.
“I’ve been bitten thousands of times”.
“Been thrown around a bit. Beaten up pretty good. Nearly had my teeth knocked out. Certainly chewed on a lot.”
In one episode, he takes a few nibbles from a 14-foot tiger shark, with the aim of testing his newest suit which – if he is to be believed – could withstand an axe blow.
Tiger sharks can bite with up to 400lbs of force and have a nasty habit of chewing up and ripping through pretty much anything they take a fancy to.
He added: “I felt pretty confident in what I was doing but the tiger sharks I’d been saving for later, they’re known to have among the most destructive bites and to do a lot of damage when they get a hold of things and try to chew on them for a bit.
“We weren’t sure what was going to happen. I had a lot of people with me that were quite sure that when one bit me, the other tiger sharks were gonna come swarm on me.”
Jeremiah’s fascination with sharks began during his childhood, growing up by the sea in Hawaii, US and Puerto Rico.
He continued “m not fearless at all. Fear is a funny thing. Fear of the unknown is really all it comes down to, so if you’re well-informed about the environments you’re going into and prepared as can be, it puts you in a pretty good position”.
“Being a water guy and in the ocean virtually my whole life, it’s not something that’s frightening or fearful to me. It’s more like home.”