Massive swarms of blacktip sharks have appeared off the beaches of Florida.
An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 blacktip sharks have appeared off the Florida coast in what may seem like a scene from the latest Sharknado movie.
But worry not, it’s actually not unusual. The sheer number of sharks may seem terrifying, swirling in the crystal clear waters just a few hundred feet from the beaches, but they come down to Florida every single year, according to a CBS News report.
The sharks have arrived to feed on small fish and escape the colder waters up north. Fortunately, they rarely bother people — not that it would be that hard to spot the massive swarms of sharks and stay away from them.
Blacktip sharks migrate south to Florida during the winter, with the migration typically beginning in mid January and ending in March.
Blacktips can grow to about 6.5 feet in length. In the summer, they’re around Georgia and the Carolinas to go through their mating season. In the winter, they populate an 80-mile stretch of the southern Florida coast.
The blacktip shark is part of the family Carcharhinidae and is common to coastal tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. Populations in different parts of the world tend to be very different genetically, with the western Atlantic Ocean population in this case quite isolated from other blacktips in other parts of the world.
Blacktip sharks often make spinning leaps out of the water in chasing schools of fish. Many Florida residents can sit on the beaches during this time of year and watch the sharks breach out of the water — a preferrable way to observe them compared to going into the water.