Blood and Shark
A video of a man cutting his wrist in shark-filled waters has gone viral after it was posted on Facebook. Skyler Thomas

A video of a man cutting his wrist in shark-filled waters stirred social media after it was posted on Facebook Thursday by White Shark Video, which calls itself a nonprofit corporation in California. Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, the video had gone viral by Monday.

The video began with a close-up of a Skyler Thomas, the owner of White Shark Video, who flashed a knife for the camera. As the camera panned out, he was shown to be surrounded by sharks. After cutting what appeared to be an inch-long knick in his wrist, Thomas held his arm out to a passing shark mere feet from himself — to no reaction from the passing predators.

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A text overlay in the video read: “Sharks: They can smell one drop of blood in an olympic-size swimming pool, which means they can smell everything else too — such as things they actually care about, which does not include you.”

“I made the video partially inspired by the fact that Shark Week programs love to spew stupid stuff such as the ability for sharks to smell our blood as well as a self-professed conservation company that [actually] makes its living killing sharks; the Natal Sharks Board,” Thomas told International Business Times over Facebook Chat. He is currently in South Africa working on a film titled Monsters, which he said aimed “to expose the truth of shark culling.”

Thomas continued: “I'm in South Africa investigating this organization and was enjoying a shark dive on a day off. After hearing both Shark Week and The Natal Sharks Board brainwash people with fear of sharks I asked to borrow a knife and decided to demonstrate the foolishness of this often repeated shark fable. No matter how well they can smell, we're still not on their menu.”

At least in Thomas’ case, exposing his blood to the predator left him unscathed — but that was why he made the video.

Shark attacks are, for the most part, rare. Newsweek reported in July that a mere 81 swimmers reported a shark attack in 2016, with 53 of those having occurred in the United States. Only six of those were fatal, and none of the fatal attacks happened in the U.S. While Thomas asserts that sharks have very little interest in human blood, experts still warn against getting into waters where sharks are present if bleeding.

“The ocean is full of all kinds of smells and scents,” Nick Whitney, the manager of the Behavioral Ecology and Physiology Program at Florida’s Mote Marine Laboratory, told Men’s Journal. “Swimming in the ocean with a cut is not a good idea for other reasons, but not because it will attract sharks.”

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Commenters on Facebook were split in their reactions to Thomas’ video.

“This is by far the COOLEST video I have ever seen!” wrote user Layela Nichole Parilla Suda.

“Great video,” said Haley Woor. “It should be shared throughout Facebook.”

Inge Williams wrote: “That is a very small amount of blood. I'm sure they are more attracted to fish or other marine life like sea turtles, seals, even seagull blood. It doesn't explain the attacks on shipwreck victims especially during war when they are injured and bleeding.”

As for how Thomas felt about the video’s nearly 80,000 views on Facebook?

“I'd say it's still getting moderate attention, nothing too amazing, but I'm not certain since I'm still on location in South Africa,” he told IBT.