Cookie Cutter Shark Attack… Victim Attempting to Swim from Big Island to Maui

A Maui man trying to swim from the Big Island to Maui may instead become known for being the first living person bitten by a cookie-cutter shark

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…Mike Spalding of Kula was attempting to become the third person known to cross the dangerous 30-mile Alenuihaha Channel when an undersea animal attacked him Monday night.

Spalding had already been swimming for four hours and 11 miles when the animal inflicted a superficial wound on his chest and then bit him in the calf a few seconds later, leaving a circular wound 3 inches in diameter and about 1 inch deep…

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Cookie-cutter sharks grow up to 20 inches long and have razorlike teeth — a tiny set along its upper jaw and large, jagged teeth on its lower jaw, Naughton said.

They’re known as “sort of a mosquito of the sea” that live deeper than 1,000 feet during the day and cruise to the surface at night, Naughton said. They normally take bites out of open-ocean fish like ahi, mahimahi, Hawaiian monk seals, dolphins or whales…

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…The only other incident Naughton knew of was in July 1992, when a drowned man had the distinctive, circular wounds of the cookie-cutter shark on his back…

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3 Responses

  1. I finally learned something about cookie cutter sharks

  2. Never heard of them…great photos, better than the photo on Wikipedia…I learned something today.

  3. Those cookie cutter shark’s teth are HUGE!!!

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