'Surfing shark' photographer seeking answers

Sends photo to marine science lab for help ID'ing animal

KITTY HAWK - A visitor to Kitty Hawk snapped this photo, purportedly of a shark in the breakers near the shoreline.

The photo, which Marlo Johnson said she snapped from the beach near Kitty Hawk, also features her nephew and her daughter.

Johnson said she also sent the photo to a marine science lab to see if they can review it and tell her exactly what type of shark it is.

"Shortly before this, we had seen dolphin running and this is what we thought we were taking pics of," Johnson said. "I have the picture in the hands of Virginia Institute of Marine Science for verification, but this sure doesn't look like a dolphin to me."

Johnson said she took the photo with the camera on her phone, and that she pulled it up on her computer to get a better look.

"We actually didn't even realize it was a shark until we got back to the cottage and put my memory card into the laptop and looked at it closer," Johnson said. "At that point I hugged and kissed my daughter and started asking her questions about it. Such as, 'Did you see the thing in the water well? What color was it?'

"I then had her draw me a picture of the shape of its head and she drew a very rounded snout with eyes on the side. I asked her if it was a dolphin and she said 'No, not a dolphin like we have seen before, I think it was a shark momma.'"

Johnson said her daughter is 9 years old.

As you head to the beaches for the remainder of the summer, will sharks be on your mind?

Leave your answers in the comments section below.

UPDATE: See below the original, un-cropped photo taken from the Johnson's phone.

Most Popular