Katarina Zarutskie, a 19-year-old University of Miami student with a lifestyle blog called Vogue and Vegetables, was on vacation with her boyfriend and his parents when she spotted some sharks swimming in a nearby pool of water, BBC reports. Apparently knowing a good 'gram opportunity when she sees one, Zarutskie swam over to get the shot.
As generally crazy as swimming into shark-infested waters may sound, Zarutskie told the BBC she knew she wasn't doing anything particularly dangerous. She said she knew from her time surfing and SCUBA diving that nurse sharks are pretty safe, and she'd already spotted people swimming around them, so she figured it would be an easy photo opportunity.
Unfortunately, it didn't exactly work out that way.
As Zarutskie laid back in the water to float above the circling sharks and her boyfriend's father snapped photos, one nurse shark suddenly chomped down on her left arm and yanked her underwater.
She wrestled against the shark's grip for about ten seconds before she could tear herself away from its jaws, somehow able to stay calm and remember to get her arm out of the water before the blood could attract any more sharks.
"At that point, your body has so much adrenaline going and you just have to get out of the situation, but I stayed extremely calm," she said to BBC. "I think if someone was screaming and flailing around it definitely could have changed the situation."
"I'm lucky to have my hand," she told BuzzFeed News.
Zarutskie was rushed to the hospital where doctors stitched up the wound and put her on antibiotics. The bite will likely leave a scar, but the whole incident was significantly better than it could've been. Plus, she still managed to get the shot of the exact moment the shark bit down, so there's that.
Zarutskie uploaded the fateful photo to her Instagram earlier this week and her story quickly went viral. She's gained tens of thousands of new Instagram followers and built up some pretty nice SEO for herself, but maybe next time she could just grab a photo at that LA mural with all the other influencers and call it good.
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