Terror in the Water: The 1916 New Jersey Shark Attacks

Before there was Jaws, there were the New Jersey Shark attacks of 1916, with true terror lurking beneath the surface.

Show Notes


Trigger Warning: Graphic, violent descriptions


The Jersey Shore was being stalked by a shark that would take the lives of four people in a series of attacks, the likes of which our country had never seen before. These attacks would shape our attitude on sharks for decades to come, and the exact culprit remains a mystery to this day.

References

McCall, Vivian (June 12, 2019). “2 weeks, 4 deaths, and the start of America’s fear of sharks,” National Geographic, retrieved from: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/150702-shark-attack-jersey-shore-1916-great-white

NOAA (Feb. 26, 2021). “What is the largest sea turtle?,” National Ocean Service, retrieved from: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/leatherback.html

Gonzalez, Nora. “The 1916 Shark Attacks That Gave Sharks a Bad Rap,” Britannica.com, retrieved from: https://www.britannica.com/story/the-1916-shark-attacks-that-gave-sharks-a-bad-rap, accessed on July 12, 2021

Reine, Roel (July 31, 2019). “Capsized: Blood in the Water,” Discovery Channel, https://www.discovery.com/shows/capsized-blood-in-the-water

Staff writer (July 2, 1916). “Young Man Attacked by Shark While Bathing,” Idaho Daily Statesman (Boise, ID)

Staff writer (July 7, 1916). “Hundreds See Shark Eat Bellboy’s Legs,”¬†Evening Express (Los Angeles, CA)

Staff writer (July 7, 1916). “Shark Bites off Swimmers Legs, Causing His Death,” The Pittsburgh Press

Staff writer (July 7,1916). “Hundreds See Shark Kill Young Bather,” The Washington Times (Washington, DC)

Stirling, Stephen (March 29, 2019). “Killer sharks invading the Jersey Shore? Or just some great-white hype?” NJ.com, retrieved from: https://www.nj.com/news/2014/07/are_great_white_sharks_on_the_rise_in_nj_waters.html

Lock, Samantha (Aug. 15, 2019). “HEATWAVE BLOODBATH: How boy, 11, was mauled to death by shark while playing in a creek with friends as beasts ripped apart four people during US heatwave,” The Sun, retrieved from: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9726446/boy-11-mauled-death-shark-attack-playing-in-creek-us-heatwave/

Fernicola, Richard G. (May 2, 2016). “Twelve Days of Terror: Inside the Shocking 1916 New Jersey Shark Attacks,” Lyons Press


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Researched & Written by Kim Douthit 

Edited & Produced by Gabi Fiore

Music by Dan Moretti