A Tennessee surfing teenager encountered a shark next to him last week when the rambunctious predator emerged from the sea a few feet away and began performing a series of Olympics-worthy maneuvers.
The incident happened Friday in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to the boy’s mother, Kaci Allen, who identified the surfer as Ethan, her 15-year-old son, whom she calls “E.”
In a video that Allen took, Ethan’s surfboard appears leaping over the shark for a second before jumping out of the water.
The family lives near Nashville, Tennessee, but Kaci Allen was born in Myrtle Beach, according to Facebook.
The shark is believed to be a young blackfin shark, a common species in South Carolina waters that can grow up to six feet and weigh 120 pounds, according to Sciencing.com. Blackfin sharks are not considered a threat to humans, the website says.
“This shark hunts by swimming rapidly around a school of fish, spinning and biting in all directions,” Sciencing.com reported. “It often rises to the surface of the water, and spins through the air, and that’s where it gets its name.”
Kaci Allen also shared the video on YouTube, where she explained that her son started surfing five years ago and visits the Cherry Grove area of North Myrtle Beach several times a year to practice.
As of Monday, Allen’s video had 4,500 reactions and more than 300 comments on Facebook, many from some people saying the shark was trying to outshine their son’s jumps. Other people found what happened a bit unsettling.
Imitation is the sincerest form of compliment. It was as if the shark liked what it saw, ”Renee Hanna Irvin wrote on Facebook.
“I will never enter the sea again,” wrote Elizabeth Madeira.
“We have to thank God that nothing happened to the boy,” wrote Judy Linthicum McKenzie.