To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert
Advert
Advert

Most gruesome shark attack in history saw 150 sailors eaten one by one

Callum Jones

Published 
| Last updated 

Most gruesome shark attack in history saw 150 sailors eaten one by one

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images / Bettmann

Many of us would consider being eaten by sharks as one of the worst ways to die, and that fate befell 150 people in the worst attack of all time.

The worst shark attack the world has ever seen is connected to a very famous incident you've probably heard of before.

I think we can all imagine how dangerous sharks really are, they really are the last animal we'd one to see when taking a dip in the sea.

Advert

Loading…

While thousands of people enjoy swimming with sharks across the globe every single year, the fear of shark attacks is often there.

Their carnivorous diet, rows of razor sharp teeth and ability to sniff out the smallest drop of blood from great distances away makes them champion chompers.

Advert

However, when sharks attack, the number of victims tends to be incredibly low, whereas history's worst ever shark attack claimed around 150 lives over the course of several days.

The USS Indianapolis, a heavy cruiser which was sunk in 1945 after delivering uranium for the 'Little Boy' nuclear bomb.Credit: PhotoQuest/Getty Images
The USS Indianapolis, a heavy cruiser which was sunk in 1945 after delivering uranium for the 'Little Boy' nuclear bomb.Credit: PhotoQuest/Getty Images

In the final days of the Second World War, a US heavy cruiser called the USS Indianapolis was sent on a secret mission to deliver uranium and other components for the nuclear bomb, which would later be known as the 'Little Boy' and dropped on the city of Hiroshima.

Four days after the Indianapolis delivered her secret cargo, she was attacked by a Japanese submarine and hit by two torpedoes, sinking the vessel in about 12 minutes.

Advert

Of the almost 1,200 strong crew of the Indianapolis, around 300 went down with the ship, while the remaining 900 were left stranded in the Pacific Ocean.

It would be three-and-a-half days before anyone actually knew the survivors were still out there floating in the ocean, and in that time they were forced to endure the worst shark attack in history.

The shark attack is the world's most deadly. Credit: Pexels
The shark attack is the world's most deadly. Credit: Pexels

Drawn by the sound of explosions and the movement of 1,800 legs thrashing around in the water, hundreds of incredibly aggressive Oceanic Whitetip sharks appeared and began feasting on the dead.

Advert

However, they didn't stay eating the dead for long and the ravenous sharks soon turned their teeth towards the surviving sailors.

Of the 900 who went into the water, only 316 survived, and of those who died in the sinking of the Indianapolis 150 of them were eaten alive by the swarming sharks.

There's a very good chance you've heard of this incident before, and that's because it's the centrepiece of one of the most iconic scenes from Jaws.

The sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the subsequent shark attack formed part of a major scene in Jaws. Credit: Universal Pictures
The sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the subsequent shark attack formed part of a major scene in Jaws. Credit: Universal Pictures
Advert

In the movie Quint (Robert Shaw) reveals he was on the Indianapolis and gives a harrowing account of the shark attack.

While Quint says one of the reasons for so many lives being lost is that the ship never sent out a distress signal due to the top secret nature of its mission, that's actually not true.

Tragically, three stations received a distress signal from the Indianapolis but received no response as one station commander was drunk, another told his men not to disturb him and a third assumed the signal was a Japanese trap.

Topics: News, US News, Animals, Shark

Callum Jones
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

News

Chilling last words shouted at missing teen after he jumped off cruise ship into shark-infested waters

11 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

MIT student creates device that is able to search the entire internet using just his mind

11 hours ago