The Shark Attack in Missouri That Really Wasn’t the Shark’s Fault
I can hear the laughter already, but there really was a shark attack in Missouri. It happened back in 1996, but really wasn't something you could blame on the shark. I'll try to explain.
This Missouri shark quest began with a funny post on the Missouri sub-Reddit page. It showed a map of shark attacks and Missouri was included which probably led to the "Missouri is scary, y'all" status.
Even though it's a funny thought, it's also true. There was a shark attack in Missouri in 1996, but it wasn't in the Mississippi River or any of our major tributaries. The site Recently Heard did a story about Kathi Peters who was performing with her husband at the St. Louis Sports and Boat Show that year. As the story goes, Kathi decided it would be a good idea to put her hand at the bottom of a tank that had sharks in it. One of the sharks decided Kathi's hand looked like lunch and took a bite.
SIDE NOTE: the shark's name was Bob. I'm not kidding. Bob, the hungry shark.
So the lone shark attack in Missouri was a freak happening at a boat show. But, it's worth mentioning that there is the possibilities of sharks in our rivers. Marine and Fishery Studies did a paper (online) about how bull sharks have made rare appearances in the upper Mississippi River Basin. Yes, it's possible that Jaws could eat you in the Mississippi, but frankly you're more likely to get finned by a mean carp.
There you have it. The lone shark attack in Missouri that wasn't the shark's fault at all. His name was Bob, by the way. Bob, the Missouri shark.