The incredible size-changing "Monster Shark!"

Multiple media outlets have jumped on the "Monster Shark" story out of Queensland. Oddly enough, the size of the "Monster Shark," which reportedly has not actually been seen by anybody, seems to vary depending on who is reporting the story.

Mother Nature Network estimates the shark being 15′ (4.5m) in length and lists the smaller shark that was reportedly bitten by the "monster shark" as being 9′ (2.75m). Despite listing the larger shark at 15′, MNN still refers to the animal as both "gigantic" and a "monster." The article’s headline, states that the shark "terrifies" the locals, although the local quoted in the article merely makes mention of being cautious.

A Sky News report (overflowing with "monster" usage) posted by YouTube user SharkAndAnimals reports the larger animal to be over 5m (>16.5′) and that the smaller shark was 3.7m (>12′).

The Daily Mail article ups the ante (we can always count on the Daily Mail), estimating the larger shark at up to 20′ (>6m). The beauty of the Daily Mail article is that it reports the smaller shark as being 10′ (3m) early in the article, then refers to the smaller shark as being 14′ (4.25m) in the caption of a photo of the mauled shark. Of course, I would expect nothing less from an article that refers to Vic Hislop as "an internationally-recognised authority on sharks."

The 7 News video below, which adds to fear-filled reporting, was embedded in the Daily Mail article.

I sincerely have a hard time taking a "shark expert" seriously, when he makes statements to the effect of, great white sharks "will eat anything." While that kind of fear marketing might help Mr. Edwards sell more of his shark attack books, it’s far from an accurate description of typical white shark feeding habits. However, with "shark experts" proclaiming such inaccuracies as fact, it’s no wonder that the news crew was able to find a woman on the beach, who believes that if a white shark would attack a snared smaller white shark, then it would definitely attack the woman’s daughter, since she is smaller than the mauled shark.

Oh well, journalism was never about getting the facts straight…or was it?


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