The waters off the coast of Northern California are known as the Red Triangle, which is home to 40 percent of all great white shark attacks in the United States. A kayaker fishing in the Pacific Ocean got a glimpse at just how big these sharks can get, and it’s pretty terrifying.
“It’s 12-feet-long and weighs about 1,000 pounds easy,” said the fishermen in the video, who was clearly shocked by the visual of the giant shark circling below him.
He was able to stick his camera into the water to catch a brief glimpse of a shark that most people only see in their nightmares.
NorCal’s Red Triangle spans out just past the Farallon Islands, a National Wildlife Refuge sitting 30 miles into the Pacific Ocean from the Golden Gate Bridge. Sharks are known to frequent areas surrounding the islands, with some spending up to 8 months out of the year living in the area.
The area is a favorite for great white shark due to its dense populations of marine mammals, the shark’s favorite food group. When the Marine Mammal Act of 1972 ended the slaughter of seals, marine biologists have noticed an increase in Red Triangle shark populations, due to the protected all-you-can-eat buffet of marine mammals in the area. The predators have been protected in California waters ever since 1994.
Shark attacks on humans are still rare. Less than 100 attacks happen per year worldwide, and only about 5 to 15 percent of those prove fatal. That being said, swim at your own risk.