WATCH: ‘Absolutely Insane’ Shark With Half of Its Jaw Hanging Off Swims Alongside Boat

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Philip Thurston via Getty Images)

To say that sharks have a bad rap would be a dramatic understatement. Thanks to the endless barrage of films depicting the apex predators as mindless, soulless monsters with no desires but the taste of blood, some of the world’s most beautiful creatures are viewed as nothing but terrors of the sea.

The truth, however, is that sharks are just like any other animal. They experience happiness, sadness, fear, and friendship and fall victim to the ravages of humanity. Yes, they’re carnivores, but they kill parsimoniously, only to survive. In the last three thousand years, there have only been a little over 1,000 documented shark-caused human fatalities. Meanwhile, sharks are destroyed by the millions every year.

Like many of their fellow sea creatures, sharks often suffer at the hands of fishermen, whether intentionally or accidentally. When caught in a fishing net or line, a shark will fight so hard to free itself that it’s not unusual for it to break its jaw or worse.

The result is heartbreaking just to think about, but marine biologist Andriana Fragola caught the aftermath of the horrific injury on video, posting it to TikTok for the world to see.

@andriana_marine #shark #ocean #fishing #savesharks ♬ Married Life (From “Up”) – Sergy el Som

“It is so sad to see things like this. Sharks with such horrible injuries that it would seem impossible for them to survive,” Fragola wrote in the caption. “If this is the same shark we saw injured in May it would be absolutely insane to see she is still alive and surviving.”

“I hope despite the injury getting worse she is still able to survive and remain resilient,” she continued. “Unsustainable seafood is a huge issue for our oceans and these sharks are one of the main victims.”

Scientists Unable to Help Injured Sharks in the Wild

Unfortunately, this painful, debilitating injury isn’t uncommon among sharks. John Hourston, founder of Blue Planet Society, an ocean conservation campaign group, explained that it’s actually becoming more common over time.

“We are seeing more and more sharks showing jaw injuries from commercial and recreational fishing gear. What’s worse is that these animals are the lucky ones that managed to break free and survive,” he told Newsweek. “Millions of sharks aren’t so fortunate. Killed by the fishing industry for their meat and fins to such an extent that the very survival of many shark species is now in doubt.”

As if that wasn’t tragic enough, Andriana Fragola, the marine biologist from the video, posted a second video of the injured sea creature. In it, she explained that there’s nothing scientists or conservationists can do to help once the injury has occurred.

“Unfortunately a shark rehabilitation center does not exist in Hawaii, so there is nothing we can do to help revive these individuals we see with such devastating injuries,” Fragola wrote the caption. “The capture process would be very traumatic for the sharks and would likely increase their chance of a fatality.”

“Many people also think sharks are monsters so they do not want to help save them,” she continued. “But I am hoping through media exposure and helping people understand these beautiful creatures, that is slowly starting to change!”