The tooth of a prehistoric megalodon is displayed next to teeth of a great white shark at the Blacktip Island Maritime Museum. Two Blacktip Island scuba divers claim to have seen a living megalodon off the Caribbean island’s east coast. (photo courtesy of Kalan)
Scuba divers on Blacktip Island’s rugged east coast Wednesday sighted what they claim was a believed-extinct mega-shark during a deep dive.
“I saw it in the corner of my eye, just for a second,” Eagle Ray Divers divemaster Lee Helm said. “The moment I looked straight at it, it was gone. Anything that big and that sharky, it had to be a megalodon.
“I didn’t have time to get video, but Clete Horn was with me, and he saw it, too,” Helm said. “Megalodon teeth have been washing up on the beaches lately, so it makes sense a one would be in these waters.”
Horn collaborated the sighting.
“Couldn’t see exactly what it was, but it was big,” he said. “I saw a fin and a tail, so it could have been a shark. I take Lee’s word on that—he had a better view than me.
“We reckon there’s all kinds of critters we think are extinct living down deep where people can’t see them,” Horn said. “They survived this long by being skittish. That’s why this one high-tailed it when Lee looked right at it.”
Long-time locals say the sighting is not as far-fetched as it sounds.
“Hear stories of big fish down deep all the time,” tarotologist Antonio Fletcher said. “They live way down where the whale skeletons are. What do you think eats the dead whales? Now we got first-hand evidence. Sort of.
“Old whaling ship logs talk about harpooning giant sharks,” Fletcher said. “That’s why they live so deep. The whalers drove them down there, where they can live in peace.”
Others were more skeptical.
“It’s supremely unlikely any fauna that large could survive undetected so long, at any depth,” Tiperon University-Blacktip marine biologist Goby Graysby said. “There is zero fossil or skeletal evidence of a megalodon being alive in the last 4 million years. Without any empirical evidence, I’m extremely dubious of this reported sighting.
“It doesn’t help that Lee and Clete were down at 160 feet, by their own admission,” Goby said. “That deep, they both would absorb so much nitrogen their faculties would have been severely impaired. They probably saw a parrotfish. Or a big barracuda.”
Other dive professionals were also skeptical.
“If a 50-foot shark was still out there, there’d be no fish in the sea. Or divers,” Club Scuba Doo dive manager Finn Kiick said. “And at 160, they’d have been narked out of their gourds. I did a 170-foot jump once and saw a giant rabbit chanting, “Love, love, love.” I just had sense enough not to tell anybody.
“This is Lee, too,” Kiick said. “He’s an insecure wanker, always crying for attention. To him, bad attention’s better than no attention.”
Island dive operations are taking the sighting seriously.
“We’re erring on the side of caution and warning our staff and guests to be aware of their surroundings underwater,” Eagle Ray Divers operations manager Ger Latner said. “That’s a tall order for our guests, but we have to make the appeal. Most of our them aren’t aware of their own butts.
“We are running a daily megalodon dive for folks who want to go down to 100 feet and see what they can see,” Latner said. “We’re charging double for it and the boats are packed.”