With perfect timing for Shark Week, Smithosnian Mag has dug up a 1916 newspaper article highlighting the five shark attacks near the Jersey Shore that allegedly inspired the 1975 thriller Jaws:
The shark's ferocious spree is said to have served as inspiration for Jaws-both Peter Benchley's novel and Steven Spielberg's blockbuster film. Ichthyologist George Burgess calls it the "most unique set of shark attacks that ever have occurred."
Burgess curates the International Shark Attack File, which has logged more than 5,000 attacks since the 16th century. The file includes victim and witness interviews, medical records and photographs of wounds to narrow in on the species and size of attacking sharks.
"These days, there is more of a level view of sharks," Burgess said. "Back then, this was brand-new and terror-driven. In 1916, the rallying cry was "Let's go kill some sharks!"
It is also worth noting that a great white captured off the coast of Long Island is also said to have inspire the Peter Benchley novel, which Steven Spielberg's film was based on.