Florida is teeming with wildlife, and any resident will tell you that it’s not uncommon to see a potentially dangerous animal, such as an alligator or bear.
But in the wake of Hurricane Ian, which devastated communities in southwest Florida, photos and videos of unusual finds have surfaced in and around people’s homes. In one, a sea creature that looks like a shark appears to swim through the flooding near homes in Fort Myers.
The video first started making its rounds on Twitter, where it quickly went viral, though many wondered if it was real.
The storm surge is so powerful from #HurricaneIan that it brought a shark into the city streets of Fort Myers.
— Colin McCarthy (@US_Stormwatch) September 28, 2022
But the Associated Press confirmed that the clip was filmed last Wednesday by a man named Dominic Cameratta, who filmed from his backyard in Fort Myers during the storm surge.
“I didn’t know what it was — it just looked like a fish or something. I zoomed in and all my friends were like, ‘It’s like a shark, man,'” he told the outlet.
The video has since been viewed more than 13.7 million times.
“I wish I was there so I could help him get back to the ocean,” one user complained. “Just a small reef shark, it looks like.”
AP also confirmed that the music video’s metadata showed that it was indeed shot on Wednesday morning.
“Hope it comes back safely to open water,” said another Twitter user.
While it has not been confirmed whether the big fish (estimated to be about four feet in length) is actually a shark, experts believe it could be a bull shark.
“Young bull sharks are common inhabitants of low-salinity waters — rivers, estuaries, subtropical inlets — and often appear in similar videos in Florida water bodies connected to the sea, such as coastal channels and ponds,” George Burgess, former director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Shark Program told the AP. “Assuming the location and date attributes are correct, it is likely that this shark was swept to shore with the rising seas.”
Ian made landfall in Florida on Cayo Costa near Fort Myers and Cape Coral last Thursday, with winds exceeding 250 mph.
Reports of massive damage and power outages have been coming in since last week, although it is still unclear how extensive and devastating the damage is.