Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Surfer who nearly died in shark attack enacts mild revenge by gaining custody of one of its teeth

A great white shark, seemingly upset over news that one of its friend’s teeth is now being kept as a souvenir.
A great white shark, seemingly upset over news that one of its friend’s teeth is now being kept as a souvenir.
Photo: Ryan Pierse (Getty Images)

We still have so many little doors to open on our Shark Week (and SharkFest) advent calendars before the summer fish festival is upon us once more. But for now, there’s the story of surfer Chris Blowes’ recent victory over the authorities who tried to keep him from owning a tooth from the shark that almost killed him back in April, 2015.

Advertisement

Speaking to the BBC, Blowes explained that he’s spent years trying to claim a great white tooth that was stuck in his surfboard following the attack he survived in Fishery Bay, South Australia. A law in the Australian state “ban[s] people from possessing parts of protected species,” meaning that, despite Blowes surviving an encounter with an 18-foot great white that took one of his legs and left him in a 10-day coma, he was initially unable to claim one of the teeth the animal lost in the attack.

Recently, Blowes was granted an exemption to the act—apparently the first time South Australia has done so—after “a local politician” heard that his multiple requests to take ownership of the tooth had been denied. After his surfboard was recovered by police with the tooth wedged into it, it was turned over to authorities who wouldn’t release it.

“I would never kill a shark for its tooth,” Blowes said. “But it took my leg [so] I can’t see any reason why I can’t have that.” Now that he’s finally been given the tooth, Blowes plans to keep it “in a case in his house and [take] it along to motivational talks he gives about his attack.” He’s also happy to have the tooth so he can show it to his grandkids one day in the future. In a quote that’s a bit more reasonable than Captain Ahab screaming “from hell’s heart I stab at thee,” he also explained his rationale very simply: “The shark isn’t getting its tooth back [and] I’m not getting my leg back.”

[via Boing Boing]

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.