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Oldest Ever Shark Attack Victim Dating Back 3,000 Years Found, Had Close to 790 Tooth Marks

Image of representation, Credits: Reuters

Image of representation, Credits: Reuters

The findings of the research that was published in the Journal of Archeological Science, researchers J. Alyssa White and Professor Rick Schulting tried exploring the possible reasons for over 790 traces of injury.

A 3000-year-old skeletal remain of a prehistoric hunter-gatherer at Kyoto University is the oldest case of a shark attack on a human in history. Investigating the evidence of the death of this man, the team of researchers of the Oxford University recreated the events of the “D day" using archaeological science and forensic techniques. The findings of the research were published in the Journal of Archeological Science, researchers J. Alyssa White and Professor Rick Schulting tried exploring the possible reasons for over 790 traces of injury, Sky News Reports. Talking about it, the researcher said they were at first shocked to see such a large number of injuries on the body. They noted that most of these injuries were confined to the arms, legs and front of the chest and abdomen. Through a process of elimination, they reached a conclusion ruling out the possibility of a human conflict or animal predators or scavengers.

Since there are very few archaeological cases of reported shark attacks, the pair of researchers teamed up with experts working on Shark researchers to reconstruct the possible attack.

The team concluded that the remains were of a man who had died over 3000 years ago between the period of 1370 to 1010 BC. The distribution of injuries on the body hinted strongly to a possibility that the victim was alive when the attack happened. The results of the reconstruction also suggested the body of this man was soon discovered after the attack and then buried at a cemetery. The excavation record of the remains also points that his right leg was missing and the left leg was placed at the top of his body in an inverted position.

Everything added up to the conclusion that the man was clearly a victim of a shark attack- the oldest known to date. The researchers suggested that man could have been fishing with his companions at the time since his body was quickly recovered after the attack and the tooth marks suggested that either he was attacked by a tiger or white shark.

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first published:June 24, 2021, 18:30 IST