The Truth Behind “Jaws”

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Peter Benchley’s “Jaws” quickly became a literary sensation, followed by a collaborative franchise with Steven Spielberg that resulted in one of the most successful screenplays in history.

But what’s the real story behind the melodramatic great white tale? Was the story inspired by the legendary spree of New Jersey shark attacks in 1916? Were those shark attacks caused by a great white or their more menacing cousin, the bull shark? Check out my most recent article for The Super Fins to learn some quick, interesting trivia with which to impress your friends.

This was an incredibly tricky article to research that reminded me you can’t always trust the Internet; following up on cited sources is important! A lot of journalists jumped to conclusions when the novel and film were released about the inspiration for the iconic sharp-toothed antagonist. But unmasking similarities does not mean you can draw conclusions. I kept all this in mind when I uncovered the truth behind “Jaws.”

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