Before marathon swimmer Mike Spalding had a chunk of his calf bitten off by a cookiecutter shark, nobody knew this bioluminescent creatures posed a threat to humans.
The two-foot-long cookiecutter shark gored a three-inch-wide hole into his leg.
According to George Burgess, an ichthyologist and director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, cookiecutter sharks have a set of teeth that are bigger and sharper than any other shark relative to body size.
Instead of setting out to kill its prey, these creatures simply make sneak attacks, using their saw-like teeth to tear through flesh.
Cookiecutter shark rotate their bodies “in a 360-degree fashion around and around and around like a drill,” Burgess told Wired. “And as it’s digging in, it gradually closes its jaw little by little, thereby making the crater wound as opposed to just a cylinder.”
In a matter of a few seconds, you’re left with a gaping hole somewhere along your body and the fish is nowhere to be found. It pretty much ambushes you and disappears into the depths of the ocean.
After taking just one look at Spalding’s injuries, we definitely wouldn’t want to ever swim into a school of these terrifying cookiecutters.