The Math & Science of Sharknados: (Great White Sharks + Hurricane Arthur) = Sum(Of All Fears)

Fail: No longer a valid Shark-Avoidance Strategy
Fail: No longer a valid Shark-Avoidance Strategy

After taking this morning’s Readings I was dutifully crunching the numbers when I saw something so shocking I spit my coffee all over the computer screen. So I carefully refilled my coffee cup and crunched them again. Same. I rebooted my computer. Same. I unplugged the computer, left it unplugged for 30 seconds, and plugged it back in. I refilled my cup again. I crunched the numbers again. Same. Then I stopped doing this because I ran out of coffee.

An obscure column all the way to the extreme far right of my Readings From The Northside Excel Spreadsheet had changed its value for the first time in years, and turned a cold, blood red. The Sharknado Percentage Probability Column read a staggering “.000002”. In plain English folks, the Sharknado Readings are officially off the charts.

Now, a “.000002” percent probability of a Sharknado on LBI might not sound like something to worry about, but it is almost double the last high of “.00000146” which occurred on July 27th, 1983 when a Tornado ripped through North Beach just days after longtime Readers “ajstoo” and “theoldman” caught nothing but sand sharks, green head fly bites, and hangovers while casting for nearly 6 hours into one of the epic Bluefish Blitzes that were common in that era.

It seems that the combination of Hurricane Arthur passing LBI this week and the recent appearance of Great White Sharks near LBI has greatly increased the Sharknado risk for the Island. Now, before you smugly comment, or get painfully confused, I am fully aware that a Tornado and a Hurricane are not the same thing. What you may not know is that it was decided by real scientists at the “Wind Beneath My Fins And Enormous Teeth Conference” in 2009 that all wind/shark related events would henceforth be called “Sharknados” because it sounded so much cooler than any other names suggested by the Official Naming Panel… like the obvious “Sharkicanes”, or the name the Silicon Valley working group suggested: “Bite-ly” (because it sounded hip & catchy and the domain name was still available). As a side note, you may also not be aware that I presented my “West Is The Best! Why West Wind Is Better Than All Your Other Winds” speech at the conference, and was booed mercilessly by groups of angry protestors dressed as flies and cold water.

So it appears that no one is safe. After reading about the LBI’s Great White Summer here on the Readings, many readers apparently panicked, and then focused, made to-do lists (“high priority action item #1: don’t get eaten by shark on vacation”), and self-soothed by remembering Sheriff Brody’s advice to just stay out of the water on the 4th of July. But apparently that won’t work either.

I hope this Reading brings you some comfort in a back-handed kind of way. The probability of you getting bit by a Shark on LBI is, as always, ridiculously low and only slightly greater than you (and your sand castle) getting pulverized in a Sharknado while building a sand castle.

The appearance of large predators like Great Whites is a sign of a healthy ecosystem. You have far more to fear from a dead, lifeless ocean. So rejoice. Swim with confidence. Just watch your back and position yourself so you’re surrounded by strangers who can take the shark’s initial “test bite”.