By Evan Ackerman
As you might expect, that headline doesn’t tell anything close to the whole story, but it’s essentially true and dripping with irony. And I like the picture. In a test off the coast of South Australia, a Shark Shield device (which is supposed to repel sharks with a conductive field that causes them to experience uncomfortable muscle spasms if they get too close) was chomped on by a 12 foot long Great White shark. The device was attached to a float at the time, instead of a surfer. The company says that the test failure was due to a problem with the electrode generating the field, and not with the way the thing works, but I’m not sure that would make me feel much better.
The company says on their website that “the testing conducted to date proves conclusively (100% of the time) that sharks detest the effect the field has on them, and will keep a safe distance between themselves and the Shark Shield”, but a spokesman has modified that to “nobody wearing a Shark Shield has ever been attacked by a shark.” My guess is that you’re probably better off with one of these things on than not, but keep in mind that your odds of being bitten by a shark are astronomically low. If you’re still worried, a personal Shark Shield for surfers or divers will cost you about $645.