Based on Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 that occurred 1—12 July 1916 in Central and Southern New Jersey, as recounted in the Twelve Days of Terror by Richard Fernicola, the film recounts the 12 days during which people along the Jersey coast were subject to attacks by a shark (in the film it is a great white shark). Initially, the authorities hesitated to take action, and the issue of sacrificing the safety of human beings for the sake of Goodwill (accounting) was raised. After the second attack, modest precautions were taken, and scientific experts and civil authorities published assurances that area beaches had been made safe again. On 12 July a shark was sighted swimming into the freshwater canal of Matawan Creek—one expert who had come to capture the animal speculated that this indicated a bull shark. Children and young adults swimming upstream in the creek were attacked. After the shark was finally captured offshore, an autopsy was performed, and it is said that 15 pounds of human flesh with bones were found in its stomach. In the end, four people had been killed and a fifth badly injured. The remains of one young boy were never recovered. Because a propensity for human flesh is unnatural in sharks, scientists are still investigating why this shark did what it did.
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