WTF Fun Fact 12699 – A Shark Attack Of A Different Sort

In August 1956, Leslie Nye and Richard Kirby were killed in a shark explosion. Even worse, they saw it coming. And even worse than that, they were the ones that launched the explosives at the sharks to begin with.

But before you assume they got what was coming to them, it’s important to have some context.

This was all part of a military diving exercise and the day before, an officer saw a shark approach the dive team and identified it as a potentially aggressive danger. In fact, he saw the shark swim toward men in the water and turn to its side as if to get its mouth into position to bite. However, it was scared off by bubbles from the divers.

But the next day, sharks started circling the boat again as the men were putting on their gear. Then, a decision was made to scare the sharks off (or kill them – either would have been fine at the time) so the divers wouldn’t be anxious.

That’s when two officers and two civilians boarded a dinghy with a pair of 14oz explosive charges fastened to a rope. Someone threw the rope and it wrapped around the shark’s fin, as planned.

What they didn’t plan for was the shark turning around and heading back for the boat. It ended up underneath the vessel when the charges exploded. All four men were on the boat at the time, but only Nye and Kirby were killed (Brooks and Spicer were seriously injured).

The Coroner ruled the ordeal a “misadventure.”

After the incident, there were rumors that the military was trying to test explosives during the Cold War and used the shark story as a coverup. But it’s just weird enough to be true.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “When an exploding shark killed two men off the coast of Cornwall” — Cornwall Live

WTF Fun Fact 12405 – Creature Kindness

Scott Thompson has a seal to thank for saving his life. In early 2022, the urchin diver slipped overboard and ended up in the Santa Barbara Channel wearing only shorts and a t-shirt while his boat drifted away.

“I was taught by the best urchin divers in the business about safety, but for whatever reason, I was careless,” he wrote in a blog post for Sour Milk

Thompson is a strong swimmer but became overwhelmed in the choppy, cold water and began to panic.

“It really didn’t take too long to realize like, ‘It’s getting farther, I’m not getting closer,'” he told KABC-TV. “I thought to myself, ‘Great, this is how I’m going to die.'”

That’s when he met a friendly harbor seal just in time. The little creature gave him the encouragement he needed to keep swimming.

“The seal would go underwater, and he came up and nudged me. Like a dog comes up and nudges your leg,” Thompson told KABC. “Did it know, like, ‘Hey, this human is in trouble, hey, keep going, dude’?” 

After five hours, Thompson finally made it to an oil platform and pulled himself up onto it.

“The crew took it from there and got Scott the medical attention he desperately needed,” his family friend wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Thompson is going to be okay. – WTF Fun Facts

Source: Boater Stranded at Sea Was Convinced ‘​​I’m Going to Die’ — Then a Sweet Seal Helped Save His Life — People