After Hurricane Jan ravaged Florida, causing widespread flooding and devastation, a man in Fort Myers noticed something unusual in the floodwaters near his home. It looked like a shark fin peeking out of the water.

Dominic Camerata quickly filmed the creature swimming between houses in his neighborhood. In the past, people have claimed to have seen sharks after hurricanes, but Associated Press confirmed that Cameratta was indeed filming this video in his backyard after the storm.

Camerata told CBS News that he woke up Wednesday to find that the pond in his backyard had begun to overflow due to the rain. “It looks like there was a fish in there. I brought her closer and was surprised,” he said. He and his wife sent the video to friends, who in turn forwarded it to their friends.

An animal with fins that swam in the flood waters of Florida after Hurricane Ian.

Florida officials are warning people to stay out of Hurricane Ian’s flood waters — and one man in Fort Myers accidentally grabbed a really good reason. They filmed a creature swimming in a flooded area, and many suspect it is a shark. Storyful confirmed the video, but after speaking with experts, the animal remains a mystery. https://cbsn.ws/3SrWIEE

Published CBS News on Thursday, September 29, 2022

Someone posted the video online and it went viral and many people thought the same thing – a shark was swimming in the middle of the area.

Camerata said his friend assumed it was a bull shark were noticed previously in brackish water. Bull sharks have even swam to landlocked statestraveling from oceans to rivers such as the Mississippi, according to the study published in Marine and Fisheries Sciences,

Although it’s impossible to say whether the finned animal he photographed was actually a shark, George Burgess, former director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s shark program, the Associated Press reported it “appears to be a young shark”.

However, Neil Hammerschlag, director of the University of Miami’s shark conservation program, said it was “pretty hard to tell” if it was a shark. CBS News reached out to several experts to try to resolve the controversy.

Cameratta doesn’t use social media, so he didn’t know that people had tried to fake shark sightings after hurricanes before. In 2017, a Twitter user posted a fake photo of a shark swimming on a freeway in Texas after Hurricane Harvey, and it went viral — despite the fact that it was completely fake.

He said his father joked that he had to pull the animal out of the water himself. “It’s been such a stressful, scary and sad time with the hurricane, but the shark video is something we can laugh about,” he said.

Camerata said his family stayed in the neighborhood during the hurricane but has since moved out. “Very scary,” he said. “We had stairs in the living room, I didn’t know if we were going to have to go up to the roof or not.” He said water rose around his home, but it soon subsided.

“We didn’t leave the house until the water went out about mid-morning the next day,” Camerata said. “We locked up the house for now and headed to the east coast to shower and get out of there.”

Florida authorities are warning residents to stay indoors and stay out of flood waters. Dangerous wildlife can hide in water and there were reports of sewage, alligators and snakes in the floodwaters, the Collier County government wrote Thursday afternoon.

After hitting Florida this week as a Category 4 storm, Hurricane Ian was moving north and made landfall in South Carolina on Friday as a Category 1.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hurricane-ian-shark-video-florida-fort-myers-finned-animal-swimming-in-flood-waters-fish/