“Fins-bury Shark” Shocks Early Morning Boaters in Shark Week Prank

Photo: Tim Anderson

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

So says English writer Kenneth Grahame in his children’s classic, The Wind in the Willows. Whether it’s rowing, punting, drifting, or sailing, the Brits love it all. And why wouldn’t they? I mean it’s not like down under where you have to dodge man-eating crocodiles, stinging jellyfish, and all other manner of wildlife out to get you. Or do you?

Earlier this week joggers, dog walkers, and early morning commuters were treated to a “jaws-dropping” scene in one of London’s main boating lakes, as the “Fins-bury Shark” was spotted in Finsbury Park.

The day started out as any other for the group of boaters that had taken to the lake to enjoy the unusually good English summer. However, things took a turn for the worse as the fin of a Great White Shark was seen slicing through the water among the rowers, appearing to target a number of the boats. In addition to the “Fins-bury Shark”, a rowing boat – complete with a huge bite taken out of it – was set afloat on the lake.

So had Jaws managed to lose his way and find himself smack bang in the middle of central London? Never fear Londoners, your city is safe from this sea predator. The whole thing was an elaborate prank to celebrate Shark Week on the Discovery Channel starting this weekend. Check out the video below:


“Fins-bury” was actually a hand-carved polystyrene fin mounted onto a 3m tubular frame, with internal ballast and flotation devices. Created by the amazing BAFTA award-winning art director and special effects designer Jamie Campbell (Lost in Space, Walking with Dinosaurs, Sea Monsters: A Walking with Dinosaurs Trilogy).

A spokesman for Discovery Channel said:  “When you go for a genteel early morning ride around the shallow Finsbury Park boating lake, the last thing you would expect to encounter is one of nature’s most renowned predators.

“All of the boaters saw the funny side and we can assure everyone that it is perfectly safe to go back in the water.”

Shark Week on the Discovery Channel runs from 10-16 August.

Clare Sidoti
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