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MFF Special: Tracking the Journey of the Shark in ‘Jaws: The Revenge’

July 25, 2018

I feel really bad for this lady because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I’ve been over-analyzing movies for several years and I don’t think a movie has ever foiled me like Jaws: The Revenge has. In my effort to track the shark’s movements and distance traveled, I found myself grasping for straws and pondering whether the shark could smell Ellen Brody’s tears when they hit the water as she is leaving Amity for the Bahamas (it didn’t….I think). I know the original script (and novelization) featured a subplot involving a witch doctor cursing the family and that is why they are pursued by the shark. However, since it was left out of the movie, I’m assuming the aquatic monster is a vengeful and psychically-linked relative of the other two sharks (Jaws 3 isn’t canon anymore) who is basically a sea dwelling combination of the hunters in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Anton Chigurh (No Country for Old Men). Over the 18 days that this movie takes place, the 25-foot shark manages to set a successful buoy trap in Amity, swim over 1,500 miles, and hunts almost every member of the Brody clan via a mystical GPS system

The shark sets up a successful and trap and leaves me wondering how many traps failed.

The following breaks down every facet of this soul-crushing movie and I hope it helps you understand it a little more.

Here is the timeline and estimated shark mileage for Jaws: The Revenge.

  • December 19th – The shark sets a buoy trap and kills Sean Brody. How many traps has it set? How long has it waited? This is when the psychic link between Ellen and the shark begins
  • 12/20 – This will be controversial in many ‘Jaws’ circles but I believe the shark starts its journey towards the Bahamas after it kills Sean. It knows Ellen won’t go in the water  so it decides to wipe out her other son Mike
  • 12/21 – Swimming
  • 12/22 – Swimming
  • 12/23 – The Brody’s head to the Bahamas. The shark starts its swim.
  • 12/24 – Christmas Eve – Shark is still swimming.
  • 12/25 – Christmas – Shark is almost there.
  • 12/26 – Ellen senses that the shark is near when she steps in the water (I’m not making this up). The shark swims past Mario Van Peebles (I’m not naming his character because Mario wrote his own dialogue and did what he wanted which is cool) and tries to kill Mike Brody – So far, the shark has only attacked the Brodys.
  • 12/27 – ?
  • 12/28 – ?
  • 12/29 – ?
  • 12/30 – ?
  • 12/31 – ?
  • 01/01 – ?
  • 01/02 – Mike and Mario chum the water and tag the shark with a tracker. The shark is not pleased and probably feels like an idiot for being tricked because prior to this it seemed pretty smart.
  • 01/03-  Mike and Mario track the shark but they lose it.
  • 01/04 – The shark attacks Mike, but fails again. This is when it decides to attack other family members because Mike has proven himself to be elusive.
  • 01/05 – The shark kills an unlucky lady while attacking Mike’s daughter. Ellen Brody takes off in a sailboat(?) and the shark starts following because they are psychically linked. This leads to the shark spearing itself on a boat.


Tin Foil Hat Theories:

  1. The first time we see the shark in Jaws 2 it is snooping around the sunken Orca. I’m thinking this is a relative putting together clues as to what happened to its relative.
  2. Jaws 3 isn’t canon anymore but we know it is hunting the Brody kids and this is when it starts its supernatural shenanigans. (thank you Cracked).

Here is what I know:

  1. The shark set a trap for Sean Brody. It found a log and wedged into a buoy and hoped Sean came to sort it out. I say this because when the log is shown later it looks like there are teeth imprints in it.
  2. The shark swims 1,193 miles in six days to get to the Bahamas. It averages 198 miles a day (8.28 miles an hour without stopping).
  3. The shark and Ellen have a weird psychic connection which creates visions for both her and the shark. The interesting thing is she is able to see events that she wasn’t around for. This must mean that shark had a psychic connection with its relatives, and when it kills Sean, the shark bonds with Ellen and the visions are shared. This is weird.
  4. It attacks on December 26th, then disappears for seven days. Vacation?
  5. It didn’t mean to kill the banana boat lady and only went after Mario because he was messing with it. The shark didn’t even bother attacking Michael Caine when the plane crashed.
  6. It does not like electrical impulses.
  7. 7. The shark roars….Why not? If it can follow a family via a psychic link then it could easily roar.

I feel terrible for this lady.

How far did it swim?

It’s impossible to calculate the exact number of miles traveled but with some assumptions and guesswork I’m thinking I can get pretty close to the actual distance. After doing some research I learned that Great Whites have to continually swim and since this shark is a supernatural creature it can defy logic and swim way too fast and cover way too much distance in no time.

  1. The shark swam 1,193 miles to the Bahamas so we know it has no problem putting in some serious miles.
  2. During the six question mark days I’m guessing it trolled around at 5 MPH and covered 120 miles a day (720 miles total)
  3. It hunted the Brody boys for five days and during that time it made some quick moves and covered some serious ground. I’m thinking it swam an average of 8 MPH during these days. (960 miles).
  4. On the final day when the shark killed the banana boater and dashed after Ellen it had to be moving at a crazy speed. So, it’s believable to assume that is swam an average of 10 MPH from 12:00AM till it was killed at 6:00PM. (180 miles).

Total Distance – 3,053 miles

It took me a long time to put this together and I’m really happy with the mileage and timeline. This was by far the hardest “dumb data” article I’ve ever written but I feel like it helps make sense of a movie that makes zero sense.

If you liked this random post make sure to check out my other stuff! Also, a big thanks to Brian Raftery at Wired for interviewing me about this dumb data.

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2018 2:00 pm

    This is amazing….my question is why did the shark wait for Christmas to begin his vengeful reign of terror? Maybe one of the deleted scenes in the earlier movies indicated that the original shark in Jaws hated Christmas time?


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