Watch This Huge Hammerhead Shark Circle a Completely Oblivious Swimmer

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: October 2, 2022
© Sail Far Dive Deep/
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Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

What a swim this turned out to be! Through the green waters off the Florida coast, we see a large hammerhead shark swim up to and then circle a very relaxed swimmer. The lucky man is floating calmly on his back enjoying the water completely unaware that this incredible, and slightly scary, animal is circling below him. Perhaps that is just as well!

Hammerheads and Their Distinctive Shape

Even if you are no shark expert, the distinctive outline of a hammerhead shark is easy to spot – especially from above as we see in this video. It is also interesting to note the way that this huge fish alters the angle of their body so that they are rarely swimming with their head straight in front of them. This is done to reduce the drag produced by the shape of their nose and to make their swimming more efficient. Having a wide head does not make you streamline!

Which brings us to the question of why the hammer head has this particular head shape? The scientific name for the ‘hammer’ is cephalofoil and there is no getting away from the fact that it looks bizarre. However, it serves a very important purpose and that is connected with sensing the environment around them. Let’s start with the eyes which are located on the edges of the hammer. This gives the shark all round vision. Also, it is packed with sensory organs that allow the shark to detect the tiny electrical impulses given off by creatures. Both of these help the hammerhead to locate food, such as stingrays.

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Once the stingray has been located, the sharks will use their use their hammers to pin the stingray to the ocean floor until they become exhausted and allow themselves to be eaten! They like to hunt in shallow water and they will also eat fish, squid and eels. The smaller bonnethead shark also eats sea grass so they would be classed as omnivorous.

Humans and Hammerheads

Hammerheads are apex predators so once they are adults there are very few animals that would attack them. It has been known for killer whales to attack them if there is no other source of food. Their only other predator is humans who catch the sharks for food or catch them accidentally when hunting other fish.  

This particular hammerhead seemed to be super chilled and not that interested in the swimmer. But was this swimmer ever in danger? In theory, yes he was but hammerhead attacks on humans are rare. In general, they are pretty indifferent about humans and do not pay us much attention. Hammerhead-on-human attacks have been recorded, however, and the shark has the power and aggression to do us a lot of damage should they choose to.

Next up:

Watch a Shark Bite an Alligator In South Carolina

Watch How Close This Woman Came To Becoming A Shark’s Meal

Watch A Sea Turtle Repeatedly Defy A Shark Attack

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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