Aaron Smock, 19, was fishing for tarpon near Bean Point off of Anna Maria Island when he spotted a huge hammerhead shark.
“He was definitely one of the biggest hammerheads I’ve ever seen,” said Smock.
Smock estimates the shark was 12 to 15 feet long. He said he’s seen several sharks in the water over the years, but nothing like this.
When he saw the hammerhead, he grabbed his camera to take a video and immediately posted it on Facebook to show his friends.
Then, they shared it, and their friends shared it.
“I never expected it to get so big," said Smock. “I thought my closest friends would see it and they’d want to go shark fishing, I didn’t expect it go viral for everybody to see it.”
Since posting the video, it has been shared nearly 2,000 times.
“I’ve had people from far away on Facebook message me and ask where it was and how big it was,” said Smock.
While most are fascinated with the large shark spotting, others think it’s a little scary.
Kevin and Barbara Kesshan, who are visiting from New Jersey said hearing about it makes them reconsider taking a swim.
“It makes you not want to go in too far," said Barbara.
Shark experts said sharks generally do not seek out humans, and it's very rare to have a dangerous encounter.
“Your chances of getting into an accident with a shark getting bitten are, well, they are far more rare than getting struck by lightning or getting squashed by a vending machine trying to get a candy bar out,” said Eric Hovland, with the Florida Aquarium.
According to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark File, since 1580, there have been a total of 17 hammerhead shark attacks worldwide.
None were fatal.
Smock, who spotted the shark, said he’s not afraid.
“He’s probably out here deep in the water looking for tarpon,” he said.
Smock said he hopes to run into the big hammerhead again soon.
To avoid dangerous shark encounters, people are advised to avoid the water the water during the dark, which is when sharks are most active.
Don’t wear shiny jewelry in the water, and be careful near drop-offs and sandbars.