How to Fight a Shark: Punch It in the Eye

That's one way to do it.

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Who's afraid of this bad boy?

Even paradise has its perils.

On Sunday morning around 11 a.m., 25-year-old Jeff Horton was sitting on his surfboard with his legs dangling in the water off Kauai’s North Shore, when he noticed a large shape moving uncomfortably close. Although he and his friends had seen a fin moving through the ocean earlier in the day, “I didn’t think much of it,” he told the Garden Island.

The shape turned out to be a shark, and it had singled him out as lunch. Just as the predator went to clamp down on Horton’s leg, he raised it out of the water, and the animal sank its teeth into his board instead. He says he wound up on the shark’s back and held onto its fin with one hand, while he punched the 12-foot long fish with the other. “I started punching as hard as I could,” he says.

The shark didn’t back off for good, however, until Horton slugged it in the eye. “I took one shot in the eye and the thing kind of gave up,” the former boxer who moved to Kauai three years ago from Washington, D.C. told TV station KHON 2. The jab stunned the animal enough to give Horton time to get back on his battered board and paddle back to shore.

While there’s no way to verify all the details of Horton’s tale, he does have one very good piece of evidence to back it up: the teeth marks etched into his board for posterity.

Apparently unfazed by the horrific incident, Horton went surfing again the next day.