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February 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 29, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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The Shark-Riding Trend - - or Dumb Divers Looking Dumber

from the February, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Apparently, there's a new trend in social media: videos of people having hands-on encounters with sharks. Within this trend, there's an increase in the number of videos showing people engaging in the practice of "shark riding," grabbing a shark by its dorsal fin and having it pull them through the water. Shark Riding has become so prevalent that the blog Shark Attack News recently added the tag "riding a shark" to its article keywords list.

So how did this trend start? According to Dawn Williams, founder of Shark Attack News, the early shark-riding videos were primarily released by conservationists who were trying to drive home the message that sharks are not mindless killers that continually roam the oceans seeking out humans for their next meal. One example is Ocean Ramsey, model, dive instructor and so-called "shark whisperer" whose video of her riding a 15-foot great white shark got a lot of viral attention ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DEpTAlm6sw8 )....


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