CNN reporters asks if ‘a Jaws’ could be behind Red Sea shark attacks

The recent tragic shark attacks in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh have been surrounded by some strange reporting, bizarre theories, and a lot of wild speculation. The CNN report above adds yet another “theory” to the mix.

At 42 seconds into the video, Nina dos Santos asks, “is it possible we could see a ‘Jaws’ in Sharm el-Sheikh?” The question is posed to Oliver Crimmen, a curator at London’s Natural History Museum, whose response is, “it is possible in those waters. It’s a very wide ranging shark.” The question is asked while the two are seated with what appears to be the jaws of white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) between them.

Due to the fact that “Jaws” is a mainstay in pop-culture, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear a reporter ask if the situation in Sharm el-Sheikh could possibly be a “Jaws-like scenario,” in which a rogue shark has begun targeting humans. However, that doesn’t really seem to be the question that was asked. Rather, it seems as though dos Santos was questioning whether a white shark (the species of shark that was featured in “Jaws”) could be responsible for the attacks, when she asks about “a Jaws?”

Since the time this video was shot, evidence has identified that the two species involved in the attacks were the shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) and the oceanic whitetip (Carcharhinus longimanus). While Crimmin’s assessment that a white shark is “a very wide ranging shark” isn’t off the mark (assuming again that “a Jaws” referred to a white shark), the Red Sea is not a generally accepted habitat region for white sharks.


  1. Dave says:

    Isurus paucus is a longfin mako. A deep water variety rarely seen in the daytime. One of the sharks identified as possibly being to blame was a shortfin mako Isurus oxyrhynchus.

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