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Video: Hammerhead shark seen swimming at Nantucket beach

This hammerhead shark was seen swimming at Ladies Beach on Nantucket on Sunday.Lisa Larson

A hammerhead shark made an appearance at a Nantucket Beach over the weekend.

On Sunday beachgoers Annabel Taylor and Lisa Larson captured the hammerhead shark on video as it tussled with a fish in the waves at Ladies Beach, according to the Nantucket Current. The Nantucket Current shared the video of the encounter on its social media channels, including Instagram.

Larson said she’s been coming to Nantucket for 23 years and has never seen a shark before this weekend.

“We see seals all the time but never a shark, nevermind a hammerhead,” Larson said in a phone interview with the Globe.


Larson said she was at the beach Sunday morning when she saw five people sprint out of the water and start pointing. She said there was a big dropoff in the water, and the shark was very close to the shore. She estimated that the shark was at least 7 feet long, but her friend thought it was closer to 5 to 6 feet in length (’I was videotaping so it was harder to get a sense when viewing through the lens,’ she said).

At one point it looked like the hammerhead was going to end up on the beach, she said.

“This shark was literally 10 feet from us,” she said. “He was thrashing around....it was quite a scene.”

“Incredible videos of a hammerhead shark hunting fish have been captured by people at Ladies Beach on Sunday,” the post said. “The encounter was one of at least 20 shark fin sightings at Nantucket beaches over the weekend that prompted lifeguards to close many of them to swimming for hours.”

Hammerhead sharks include 10 species of sharks that are known for having distinctive hammer- or shovel-shaped heads, and they vary in size, from the small small scalloped bonnethead, which measures only 35 inches) long, to great hammerhead, which can grow up to 20 feet in length, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica’s website. Hammerhead sharks live in tropical and temperate marine waters and may migrate seasonally, the website states.


Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.