While fishing in California's La Jolla Cove, this pair of kayakers had an unexpected encounter with a six-foot (1.8 metre) hammerhead shark.


The shark approached shortly after the fishermen caught a yellowfin tuna and drained its blood into the surrounding water to keep it fresh. For the most part, the men handled the situation appropriately, watching the shark swim and not interfering. Things took a bit of a turn when they decided to splash around to lure the shark closer (don't do that) and toyed with the idea of grabbing its dorsal fin (don't do that either!).

Hammerheads have one of the tallest dorsal fins of all shark groups, making them easily identifiable from the surface – and it's likely that California residents will be seeing more of them in future. El Niño-like weather patterns have caused the water off California's coast to be warmer than usual, bringing the sharks north from Baja and Mexico. 

The so-called "Ferraris of the sea", hammerheads are migratory and once moved through these waters in monumental numbers, but overfishing has seen them all but disappear in recent years, so it's great to see such a healthy specimen passing through. 

2015 02 04 Hammerhead Shark Swarm Related Content

Top header image: David Biesack/Flickr