The Loop

New way to ruin your family vacation: This website lets you track where all the sharks are

July 25, 2017

An item in Tuesday's New York Times referenced the capture of a 926-pound shark off the New Jersey Shore over the weekend, which is good news for people swimming in the same waters; or possibly bad news because it confirms there ARE SHARKS LURKING IN THE SAME WATERS.

A week after pro surfer Mick Fanning was pulled from the waters of a competition because of a shark spotted below, you might say we're always better off knowing where the sharks are lurking, lest you want to risk having valuable limbs nibbled at by a great white that skipped breakfast. If so, this Global Shark Tracker seems like a useful tool.

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The website allows you to track, in real time, the presence of dozens of sharks that have been tagged, and even named(!) by researchers over the years. Look there's "Princess," a mako shark, off the south shore of Long Island. Here's "Cisco," a 326-pound great white patrolling near Cape Cod. You can even follow where the sharks have traveled over the last few months, which makes all the creepy cyberstalking from your spurned ex-girlfriend seem rather tame by comparison.

But like we said, the problem with the Shark Tracker is that it reinforces what we'd rather not think about, particularly if you've just paid a deposit on a week-long beach rental, and you're now able to see which flesh-eating creatures are swimming nearby. And remember, these are the only sharks that have been tagged! Do they have dozens of friends swimming nearby? Is there some sort of website for sharks in which they keep tabs on the people who have particularly-appetizing legs?

Probably not, but come to think of it, a house by a lake has never sounded better.