Video shows woman hand-feed shark, get pulled into water by finger
Australia's one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Sure, you could spend your whole vacation getting drunk in Sydney and Melbourne with the laid-back locals (and maybe a few bogans). But you'd be cheating yourself if you didn't take the chance to experience nature: a hot air balloon ride over the stunning Outback desert, the trippy colors that bath the red rock Uluru at sunset, a snorkeling odyssey at the Great Barrier Reef, which boasts 1,500 species of tropical fish.
But the worst part about Australia is that everything there is trying to kill you. The desert is teeming with poisonous snakes and the oceans are home to a variety of dangerous creatures. Yes, shark attacks are rare, with most of the fear fanned by the media and blockbuster horror movies (Jaws, Open Water, The Meg). But rare doesn't mean never, and if you're hand-feeding sharks from a boat, you are really testing fate.
Melissa Brunning is from Perth, and went on vacation in Dugong Bay, which is located in the far northwest of Australia. While cruising on her friend's sweet yacht, they decided to feed the Tawny nurse sharks loitering by the back of the boat. It will not surprise to learn this was a bad idea. One of the hungry predators clamped down on Melissa's finger, yanking her into the water, with a suction "like a Hoover" vacuum.
Luckily, Melissa escaped the water and returned to the boat before the shark could come back for the seconds. The shocking yet not so shocking incident was captured on video, and went viral. In an interview with 7 News Sydney, Melissa described the experience:
"It happened so quickly. All I could really focus on was the fact that my finger is gone. It clamped on it and it felt like it was shredding off the bone. I came up and I was like, ‘I’ve lost my finger.’ I couldn’t even look at the finger because I thought if I looked at it and saw it again, I’d probably go into shock."
Melissa's finger remained attached, so she was able to keep it. However, she waited too long to get medical treatment, thinking the wound would heal on its own. The 34-year-old tourist developed a nasty infection and and had to get surgery. But in end, she'll be okay. In an interview with Perth News, she said it was totally her fault.
"It’s not the shark’s fault at all, but it could have been a lot worse. This is not a shark attack, this is just a blonde doing a stupid thing. I’m not a shark victim ... I have full respect for sharks, I think they’re incredible. I’ve always had the opinion that when you’re in the water, they’re top of the food chain, it’s their domain."
So, if you go Australia, remember: Don't hand-feed the sharks.
(For the record, according to According to Shark Attack Data, there have been 114 unprovoked shark attacks since 1900. 27 of those attacks were fatal, and 87 were not fatal.. An additional 60 shark attacks were considered to have been provoked.)