Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Newest Shark Rider: Santa Claus

And some though Santa shark riding was just for ornaments
So what seems to be the best way to get a shark photo to go viral these days?  Well if you have been reading our blog lately then you know the answer - ride it!

Last month we penned a post where we observed that there was an increasing number of videos popping up on social media showing folks latching on to sharks and going for a ride.  It had become so prevalent, that we actually added the tag "riding a shark" to our index.

The video that pushed us to write the post centered on a young man in Bora Bora who had bear hugged a lemon shark by its underside and went for a spin.

That post eventually caught the attention of Laura Helmuth at Slate Magazine who asked to share the story. From there, the story got picked up by dozens of international news sites and drew thousands of reader comments. In short order, it had become clear that the idea of riding sharks had peaked the public's interest and many had an opinion on the subject. The vast majority felt that shark riding by Joe or Jane Q. Public was just not a good idea for a whole host of reasons.

So with that said, you can imagine our surprise when we learned that the man himself, yes, the jolly fat man from way up north had also joined in on the craze.  Santa Claus had ridden a shark.

Santa rides a shark at Sunshine International Aquarium in Tokyo, Japan

The photo, which made Time Magazine's "2013: The Year in 365 Pictures" shows a staff member from the Sunshine International Aquarium in Tokyo, Japan going for a ride on a zebra shark (aka leopard shark).

It should be noted that the leopard shark poses virtually no danger to humans. According to the International Shark Attack File there has only one recorded incident which occurred in 1955 and it resulted in no injury.

Thank you to Jeff on Twitter for the headsup on the photo.
Photo from Time Magazine.