Dead Sunfish, circa 1910

Earlier this week, three beaches closed in Nantucket because of a reported shark sighting. This “shark” sighting, however, turned out to be nothing more than a sunfish sighting, according to this article.

When I first read this article, I was pretty baffled. Sunfish? Those puny little fish I caught in Lake Winnipesaukee with my Dad when I was eight years old? How could anyone in his or her right mind think that a fish like that could be a shark? But then I remembered the picture from Ethan Daniels’ Under Cape Cod Waters, which shows a close-up shot of an ocean sunfish basking in the sun, and I quickly realized that the sunfish I once caught in New Hampshire’s freshwater lakes are nothing like their marine counterparts, which are large – and ugly – enough to send chills down anyone’s spine (even though they are completely harmless!)

Want to be able to quickly identify coastal wildlife for yourself? Then be sure to pick up a copy of Under Cape Cod Waters. After all, you never know when you, too, may come face-to-face with Jaws’ doppelgänger.